KeepHealthCare.ORG – Balfour supports cancer drug petition
Jeremy Balfour, Scottish Conservative MSP for Lothian is backing Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to ensure the “life-changing” breast cancer drug Perjeta is made available to women in Scotland.
Jeremy met with secondary breast cancer patient and Perjeta Now campaigner Jen Hardy at Holyrood this week to support the charity’s petition calling for the manufacturer Roche, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to work together to agree a deal to finally make Perjeta routinely available through the NHS in Scotland.
The drug Perjeta gives patients with incurable breast cancer on average an additional 16 months of good-quality life compared to the current alternative treatment options.
While it has been the standard of care in England for over four years, Perjeta has been rejected three times in a row by medicines approval body the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) as it is not considered cost-effective.
Jen Hardy, 50, is from Edinburgh and has HER2-positive secondary breast cancer. She was unable to access Perjeta and is campaigning with Breast Cancer Now to make it available in Scotland. Jen told Jeremy, “Women in Scotland need this drug. I have lost out on 16 months of precious extra time with my beautiful family because I’ve been denied Perjeta. With every moment that goes by more women are missing out. It’s time to end this injustice.”
Following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament last Wednesday, it was announced that the drug company Roche intends to make a new application for Perjeta to be considered for NHS use in Scotland.
In light of this progress, Jeremy Balfour as today urged constituents across the Lothians to sign the charity’s petition calling for a long-awaited solution on Perjeta to be found as soon as possible.
Jeremy commented : “It is a travesty that women with incurable breast cancer living in Scotland are still missing out on a life-changing drug that is now routinely available in other parts of the UK.
“The precious extra time that Perjeta offers could mean the world to patients and their families. It is the hope of being able to see their children grow older or spending another Christmas with their loved ones.
“That’s why I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to make this drug available to women in Scotland. I urge people to join me and sign the petition.
“It only takes a few minutes but you could change the lives of women, and their families, living with secondary breast cancer in Scotland.”
Lawrence Cowan, Scotland Manager, Breast Cancer Now said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Jeremy Balfour MSP for our Perjeta Now campaign and we hope that this will encourage more people to sign the petition.
“It’s time to end this injustice and put patients’ lives first. Women with incurable secondary breast cancer don’t have time to lose. Women in Scotland need Perjeta now.”
For more information and to sign the petition visit breastcancernow.org/perjetanow