Working with our supporters, our campaigning and influencing has had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living with or affected by breast cancer. Whether championing better access to drugs, keeping breast cancer at the top of the political agenda or working to improve breast cancer services, our campaigning makes a real difference. Here are just a few of our recent campaign successes.
Scotland: The 2050 Challenge
We challenged Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) to join with us to stop breast cancer deaths by 2050 and show their support for;
- Improving access to life extending medicines
- Continuing to catch breast cancer earlier by protecting the Detect Cancer Early Programme
- Offering better lifestyle advice and support to women when they attend breast screening
- Helping to make more breakthroughs by freeing up clinicians’ time to take part in research
Following thousands of emails sent by supporters to their MSPs, we secured cross party backing for the 2050 Challenge and in March 2016, the Scottish Government committed to “stop anyone dying from breast cancer by 2050” in their new cancer strategy.
The strategy, which sets out a vision for the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and after care for people with cancer in Scotland, also reflected the key policy calls of the 2050 Challenge campaign.
Keeping Kadcyla on the Cancer Drugs Fund
In September 2015, Kadcyla, the one-of-a-kind drug proven to extend life, was at threat from being removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund due to its cost to the NHS. This would have meant that no new patients could access the drug through the Fund.
In response we launched a petition calling on the drugs manufacturer, Roche, to reduce the price of the drug so it could remain on the Fund. A staggering 42,000 people signed the petition in just a few weeks. We handed in the petition to the UK General Manager at Roche, Richard Erwin, and supporters explained to him just how devastating the drugs removal from the Fund would be for them.
Stop Women Dying – General Election 2015
With nearly 11,500 women dying from breast cancer every year in the UK, we wanted to make sure that tackling this disease was on the top of MPs’ agendas. So, ahead of the General Election in 2015, we asked supporters to contact their local parliamentary candidates and ask them whether they would become a Breast Cancer Ambassador if elected.
Over the course of the campaign, more than 21,000 emails were sent to candidates across the UK and following the election, nearly 200 MPs were elected who had agreed to become Breast Cancer Ambassadors. That’s nearly 200 MPs committed to championing breast cancer issues in Parliament and their constituency.
The Ambassadors have already made an impact. One, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, introduced a Bill to improve access to off-patent drugs. Others have been active in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and more than 100 Ambassadors attended our annual wear it pink day in Westminster. We’ve also got Ambassadors taking part in the London Marathon this year and the MoonWalk London 2016 – a real sign of their dedication.
Protecting the National Cancer Peer Review Programme
The National Cancer Peer Review Programme checks up on the safety and quality of local NHS breast cancer services and it was under threat of being cut. With thanks to our supporters, we helped to secure the continuation of the programme.
In late 2014, we presented a petition signed by 11,000 people to NHS England to ask them to save this vital programme. We wanted to make sure that all women living with a diagnosis of breast cancer receive the high quality care that they deserve.
Following our petition, NHS England confirmed that funding for the programme safety and quality checks would continue, though under a different name and mechanism. We are working with our partners to ensure this new programme is effective at measuring the quality of breast cancer services.
These successes have only happened because of the action taken by our supporters. If you would like to join them and be part of our next campaign success, sign up to receive our campaigner emails.