Breast Cancer Now responds to news that “life-changing” drug Perjeta is to be made available on NHS in Wales.

Friday 2 February 2018      Campaigns and policy Health information

The Welsh Government has today confirmed that metastatic breast cancer drug Perjeta (pertuzumab) will be made available for routine use on the NHS in Wales, following its approval by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Perjeta, taken in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel (a chemotherapy drug), is a first-line treatment for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. It gives patients with incurable breast cancer nearly 16 additional months of good-quality life, on average – compared to the alternative treatment option of trastuzumab and docetaxel alone.

It is estimated that 50 women each year in Wales will now be eligible for treatment with Perjeta.

Following the launch of the Welsh Government’s New Treatment Fund in January 2017, health boards in Wales are now required to make medicines recommended for use by NICE or the All Wales Medicine Strategy Group available within two months of the first publication of final guidance.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

This is fantastic news for Welsh patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Perjeta is a life-changing drug and we are thrilled that – following its approval by NICE – the Welsh Government has today confirmed it will be available for women in Wales within the next two months.

“Perjeta’s benefits are extraordinary, offering women with incurable metastatic breast cancer nearly 16 precious extra months with their loved ones compared to existing treatments. We’re absolutely delighted that Welsh patients can now be given more time to live.

“This is the most effective breast cancer drug in years, and we now need to see equality in access for patients across the UK. Perjeta has been rejected three times in a row in Scotland, and the Scottish Government, Roche and the Scottish Medicines Consortium must come back together urgently to find a solution for Scottish patients. We also now hope that Roche and Northern Ireland’s Department of Health will be able to agree a deal to ensure this drug is made available to NI patients for the very first time.”