Right now there are life-saving breast cancer drugs available which cost, on average, just 43p a day per patient, but they aren’t getting to the women who could benefit from them.
Recent research has found that bisphosphonates, drugs commonly used to manage osteoporosis, could also prevent one in ten breast cancer deaths by reducing the risk of breast cancer spreading, at an average cost of just 43p per day per patient.
However, a survey of breast cancer oncologists by the UK Breast Cancer Group (UKBCG) showed that less than half of clinicians are currently able to routinely offer bisphosphonates for this purpose.
We believe that clinicians are struggling to prescribe these cheap, effective drugs due to a lack of agreement and guidance over who in the NHS should be funding them and how.
What have we been doing?
We’ve been calling on the Health Secretary to step in to help fix the problem by ensuring that clear guidance is issued to local health bodies so that bisphosphonates get offered to every woman who could benefit from them.
Thousands of people have backed the campaign by emailing their MPs and asking them to write to the Health Secretary and call for him to tackle the problem.
Due to the upcoming general election supporters can’t currently write to their MPs. However, our work to ensure all eligible women can access these cheap, effective drugs continues and there will be further opportunities to get involved with the campaign after the election on Thursday 8 June.
"Is my life worth less than a postage stamp?"
That’s the question Jill has been asking herself.
Like many other women who could be receiving bisphosphonates to help prevent their breast cancer spreading, she’s been left wondering why her life is being put at risk when such a cheap, effective drug is available.
“I think we should be offered it, we should know about it. I’m really angry.
Somebody, somewhere needs to make a decision to say this can go forward.
It’s not an expensive drug. It’s bureaucracy and red tape stopping it being offered to us.”
Women like Jill shouldn’t be in this position. It is unacceptable that a lifesaving drug is not being given to the women who could benefit from it simply because of NHS red tape.
For more information on how bisphosphonate drugs can help prevent some women’s breast cancer spreading, please visit our bisphosphonates patient information page.
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