NHS England has confirmed that secondary breast cancer drug Avastin will no longer be available to patients through the Cancer Drugs Fund.
However, another drug called Kadcyla, which was also due to be removed, will remain available. Roche, the manufacturer of Kadcyla, entered into negotiations with NHS England to ensure it could remain on the Fund.
The Cancer Drugs Fund gives patients in England access to cancer drugs which would otherwise be unavailable through the NHS.
Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, said:
People living with incurable breast cancer will be relieved to hear Kadcyla will stay on the Cancer Drugs Fund. But there is no respite. Another drug, Avastin, has been removed and only serves as a reminder that there is no guarantee treatments will remain accessible. The Fund is worryingly unstable, causing a huge burden of anxiety for patients at an already incredibly tough time. People with incurable breast cancer can only watch from the sidelines as life-extending treatments are debated again and again and vital options disappear.
Read our full press statement.
The need for change
For some time we have been highlighting the need for change, to ensure that the removal of drugs from the Cancer Drugs Fund won’t happen again.
The Cancer Drugs Fund is due to end in March 2016 and, as yet, we have not seen any proposals for a long-term, sustainable solution to take its place.
Breast Cancer Care is calling for bold changes to enable doctors to deliver the best care possible to people with secondary breast cancer. You can read more about our views on the Cancer Drugs Fund.
We’re here to help
Anyone currently getting Avastin through the Cancer Drugs Fund will continue to have access to it. However, we know that this announcement may be upsetting for people who feel their treatment options are being limited.
If you have any concern about treatment options or are unclear what this news means for you call us free 0808 800 6000.