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Talazoparib (Talzenna) approved for use on the NHS in Scotland

Responding to the decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to recommend talazoparib (Talzenna) for use on the NHS in Scotland, Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It’s brilliant news that the first ever BRCA-targeted treatment for certain people with locally advanced or secondary breast cancer will now be available on the NHS in Scotland – this will be a happy moment for these patients and their loved ones.[1] 

“Talazoparib offers people the invaluable hope of extra time before their disease progresses, compared to chemotherapy, to continue doing what matters most to them. Also, taken as a daily tablet, the treatment means less hospital visits than intravenous chemotherapy requires, freeing up time for both patients and overstretched clinics. 

“All women living with incurable secondary breast cancer deserve access to the vital treatments they need, no matter where they live. As such, we’re delighted that talazoparib will be available to everyone who needs it, following NICE recommending the treatment earlier this year.[2]

“Alongside this positive news, however, while certain women with HER2-low secondary breast cancer in Scotland have access to Enhertu, tragically this life-extending treatment remains out of reach of thousands of women in the rest of the UK.[3] NICE, NHS England, Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca must urgently get back round the table and find a solution that puts these women first.”  

ENDS  

Sign Breast Cancer Now’s #EnhertuEmergency petition now at breastcancernow.org 

Notes to editors 

[1]Talazoparib (Talzenna) is a type of PARP inhibitor and is licensed for the treatment of patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutations, who have HER2-negative locally advanced or secondary (metastatic) breast cancer.  

Patients should have been previously treated with: 

  • an anthracycline or a taxane, or both, unless these treatments are not suitable
  • endocrine therapy if they have hormone receptor positive breast cancer, unless this is not suitable.

Often known as the ‘Jolie’ gene, around 5-10% of women with breast cancer carry an inherited altered gene - of which the BRCA 1 and 2 genes are the most common. 

[2] This treatment was approved by NICE in January 2024 for use in NHS England. Wales and Northern Ireland normally follow NICE decisions.  

[3] Enhertu for HER2-low incurable secondary breast cancer was rejected for use on the NHS in England last week. This decision will also impact people in Wales and Northern Ireland as they normally follow NICE decisions. In December 2023 the treatment was approved by the SMC for use on the NHS in Scotland. 

Breast Cancer Now-funded researchers contributed to the discovery of a targeted use for PARP inhibitors. The charity receives a share of royalties from the Institute of Cancer Research for sales of PARP inhibitor drugs being used in a targeted way to treat cancers with changes in BRCA genes, or other similar defects which mean that cancer cells are unable to properly repair their DNA. Income raised through the royalties/payments for PARP inhibitor drugs is invested back into the charity, so that Breast Cancer Now can continue to fund world-class research and life-changing support for everyone affected by breast cancer. 

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