MPs welcome cancer drug reinstatement
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames have welcomed news that a cancer drug which may be needed for their constituents has been re-approved for use by the NHS.
NHS England announced last month that Regorafenib has been reinstated onto the national Cancer Drugs Fund list following a review.
Storrington resident Jemma Peacock, who has a rare form of cancer that might require treatment by Regorafenib, had campaigned for the life-extending drug to be reinstated after it was removed from the list of approved drugs in December 2014.
Mr Herbert got behind the campaign after meeting Jemma in April and joined forces with Sir Nicholas Soames who also took up the issue on behalf of his constituent Sam Waller.
Mother of two Jemma Peacock and her supporters gathered over 100,000 signatures on a petition to secure a parliamentary debate which Mr Herbert and Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames pledged to support if the drug was still excluded from the list following a review.
Regorafenib is a cancer drug that treats patients with a rare form of the disease known as Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumour or GIST. Jemma was diagnosed in 2010 and was recommended a series of three drugs to prolong her life and stem the growth of the tumours until a cure is found. Regorafenib is the third drug in the programme of treatment.
The Cancer Drugs Fund was set up by the Coalition Government in 2010 with an original budget of £200 million a year, supporting around 60,000 patients. The Fund was increased to £340 million in April.
GIST Support UK, the charity that supports patients with GIST, tweeted: “We are absolutely delighted ... that Regorafenib is now officially back on the cancer drugs fund for GIST."
Jemma said: “I’m proud and grateful to everyone who got involved and a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s made my outlook on life a lot more positive.”
Nick Herbert said: “I am thrilled for Jemma that this drug has been reinstated. The Government has made substantial funding available for the Cancer Drugs Fund which has helped hundreds of patients, and I am delighted that the treatment which Jemma may need will be available."
Sir Nicholas Soames said: “This is such good news for my constituent Sam and many others, and I am pleased to have been able to work with Nick and to support this important campaign."
1. Photograph -Jemma Peacock with Nick Herbert.
2. The announcement on 21 May 2015 by NHS England can be found at http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/05/21/cdf-may-update/.
3. For more information about GIST from GIST Support UK see www.gistsupportuk.com.