Don’t delay funding for vital new drugs and treatments

Don’t delay funding for vital new drugs and treatments

9 March 2017
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This petition had 28,830 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Prostate Cancer UK

We urgently need your help to stop plans that would delay vital new drugs and treatments getting to patients. A final decision is expected in two weeks - make your voice heard today!

NHS England and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have put forward proposals which threaten to have a devastating impact on access to vital new health treatments for millions of people. There is a real risk that some patients may die while life extending treatments are kept just out of reach. We urgently need you to sign this petition calling on NHS England to reconsider.

NHS England and NICE are proposing that if any new treatment is approved for use on the NHS in England, but will cost more than a set amount per year overall, then access can be restricted and delayed with no limits on how long this can last. If this was set at £20 million as in their draft proposal this would mean that around 1 in 5 new treatments will potentially be delayed. This undermines what our health service is supposed to be all about.

Personal stories
Alan Oliver, 66, Widnes said: “For 4.5 years I have been taking abiraterone - a breakthrough treatment for the advanced stages of prostate cancer. It’s been my wonder drug. Despite knowing that on paper I’m very ill, I feel very much alive and well. Abiraterone has without question given me several extra years, it has allowed me to enjoy my 4 grandchildren, 3 of whom are now in school, and I just couldn't put a price on this. It scares me that if this so called cost-cap comes in, then in the future drugs like abiraterone would not get through the threshold and people like me could potentially have the chance of precious time with loved ones held just out of reach. It seems to me that there must surely be another way that gives people in my situation in the future a fairer deal."

Kathleen Moss has HER2+ incurable secondary breast cancer. She said: "It’s difficult enough to get new breast cancer drugs approved by NICE. It’s so unfair to think that effective treatments that have managed to overcome this hurdle could be delayed in reaching the patients that need them."

The NHS needs to keeps its costs under control, however this is not the solution. It is an arbitrary approach which is bad for patients and a betrayal of NHS principles – the more people a treatment may help, the more likely it could be to be delayed.  This is a radical departure from the current way that drugs are evaluated as set out in the NHS constitution.

We believe negotiation with the pharmaceutical industry should happen alongside treatment development to give the best chance of them being at a reasonable price by the time they are ready for the clinic.

Time is running out to stop this happening.

Join us and call for these plans to be scrapped and for NHS England and its partners to develop a way forward with patients at its heart.

In addition to Prostate Cancer UK, the following charities are supporting this petition: Association of Medical Research Charities, Asthma UK, Brain Tumour Research, Breast Cancer Care, Breast Cancer Now, Beating Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer UK, Kidney Cancer Support Network, Leukaemia Care, Ovacome, Pancreatic Cancer UK, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Tackle.

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This petition had 28,830 supporters

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  • NHS England
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)