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Home Industry News Welsh authorities allow Roche Herceptin treatment

Welsh authorities allow Roche Herceptin treatment

31st January 2006

Welsh authorities have made funds available for the cancer treatment Herceptin (trastuzumab) to be made available.

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons at the Welsh Assembly has given the funding to the Cardiff Local Health Board to allow the drug to be used after pressure from women suffering from the illness.

The Western Mail reports that breast cancer sufferer Jayne Sullivan only received the news after threatening to hold a vigil outside the Assembly building.

She will however continue her protest so women in other parts of Wales can receive the treatment.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended the use of Herceptin in advanced breast cancer in 2002, and a decision on allowing it to be used for early stages is expected by September.

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government told the Western Mail: “There is nothing to prevent local health boards in Wales from commissioning Herceptin. It would, however, need to be weighed against other local priorities at this early stage before full evaluation.

“Local health boards would also need to consider the risks involved in prescribing a drug for which a licence has not yet been applied for. It will be a number of months before this drug is licensed for safe use in Wales and England and Nice has published its guidance.”

The drug costs around ?22,00 to treat one patient and recent studies show it can increase life expectancy by 52 per cent.

track© Adfero Ltd

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