Today (12 October 2021), Breast Cancer Now sent this letter to Gilead Sciences on behalf of Emma, Jo, Lorna, Nicola, Philippa and Sophie — six women living with triple negative secondary breast cancer. Please sign the petition.
Dear Daniel O’Day, CEO, Gilead Sciences and Bob Roosjen Vice President and General Manager, UK & Ireland,
We are writing to you as women living with triple negative secondary breast cancer, and on behalf of the 214,000 people who have added their name to Breast Cancer Now’s ‘It’s Time for Trodelvy’ petition. We are asking that you do everything in your power to make Trodelvy available, free-of-charge, to all eligible patients in England ahead of a decision by NICE next year about its routine use on the NHS.
Living with triple negative secondary breast cancer, we have very few treatment options and we know that our prognosis is poor. We feel so helpless living with this diagnosis, but your company’s drug, Trodelvy, offers us a very real glimmer of hope. Hope that we may have more time to make memories with our loved ones, be there to see our children start school or welcome a grandchild into the world.
But we are frightened. Frightened that even though the drug is licensed, we may not be able to access it when we need it. It’s heart-breaking to think some of us could miss out on this new drug by as little as a few months.
We know it doesn’t have to be this way. Trodelvy’s licensing through the Project Orbis scheme comes after that of two other cancer drugs. Both of these have been made immediately available to all eligible patients following licensing via an interim access scheme agreed by the drug companies and NHS England. All we are asking is for Gilead to do what other pharmaceutical companies are doing.
If no agreement with the NHS is possible, then we urge you to guarantee that all eligible patients will be able to access Trodelvy through your company’s pre-reimbursement scheme. Are you able to provide an estimate of how much Trodelvy you will be able to supply until a NICE decision versus the potential need during this time? Currently the scheme is limited and does not guarantee that all eligible women will be able to receive the treatment when they need it. Can you provide any reassurances about how you are working to increase the capacity of the scheme to ensure everyone who needs the treatment will be able to access it? It cannot be left to chance who gets the hope of extra time and who doesn’t.
As CEO of Gilead, please do the right thing and provide Trodelvy free-of-charge, to all eligible patients, whether through an agreement with NHSE or via your own scheme, until a NICE decision about its routine use on the NHS.
Give us more time to live. Thank you.
Emma, Jo, Lorna, Nicola, Philippa and Sophie
Watch Emma, Jo, Lorna, Nicola, Philippa and Sophie share their message to Gilead’s Global CEO, Daniel O’Day.