Almost 500 women will be taking benefit from this medicine in Scotland each year. Cancer Awareness campaigns have also asked NHS to approve the drug for patients with incurable breast cancer.The revolutionary drug is called Perjeta which is more commonly known by its generic name i.e Pertuzumab. The drug holds the capability to prolong the life of patients with incurable HER2 with an additional 16 months as compared to other contemporary treatments.
This therapy is classified as a targeted therapy , meaning it specifically targets cancerous cells while leaving all other cells alone. This treatment enables cancer patients to enjoy a better quality of life as compared to other cancer curbing treatments.
Perjeta has although been rejected thrice previously by the Scottish National Health Service. The NHS was previously of the view that the drug is too expensive.
Yesterday’s landmark ruling was welcomed by Angela Harris who is the head of Breast Cancer Care Scotland. She deemed the ruling to be “long overdue”
She further added: “Excitingly, this drug offers the chance to shrink the tumour, which can mean less invasive and dramatic surgery.
“It is now imperative the SMC approves Perjeta next month for women living with secondary, incurable breast cancer. It’s absolutely outrageous that a life-extending drug is available across the Border when women in Scotland are denied access, along with the precious extra time it can bring.”
Miles Briggs a Scottish Cancer Activist lost his mother to the cancer when he was only seven. Briggs has been actively campaigning for the drug to be made available to all women who are in dire need it.
Miles Briggs said: “This is a big step forward, but it isn’t far enough. We now need to see action to deliver access to Perjeta for secondary breast cancer patients too.
“We must ensure that women with incurable cancer, whom this drug benefits the most, also get access to it as soon as possible.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman described the SMC’s decision as “very welcome”.
The SMC has also accepted three other drugs in its ruling, namely; nivolumab (Opdivo)for the treatment of advanced skin cancer, Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for the treatment of relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and ciclosporin (Verkazia) which are medicinal drops for a rare, chronic inflammatory allergic condition of the eyes.