Demonstration outside Department of Health

On November 4th 2015 Pancreatic Cancer Action launched a powerful advertising campaign with the aim of getting the Department of Health and NHS England to reinstate Abraxane®, a breakthrough life-extending drug for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer that has been removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund. NICE also announced that they were not going to approve the use of Abraxane® for NHS patients in England.

The printed adverts feature Larry Rees, a terminal pancreatic cancer patient, who has benefited from the drug.  With the headline ‘One NHS waiting time that’s not going up…the time it will take a pancreatic cancer patient to die’, it highlights the benefit of Abraxane® as a treatment option and the fact that English patients are left significantly disadvantaged, with patients in Scotland and Wales being able to routinely access the drug on the NHS.

The average life expectancy of pancreatic cancer is just four to six months.  Trials have shown that the life expectancy of patients who are treated with Abraxane® can be improved by up to 50%.  Oncologists have also said it can improve the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, including minimising pain and weight loss.

In order to make a difference we started a government petition to get Abraxane reinstated. We needed to make some real noise in order to make the public aware of the petition and to get the attention of the Department of Health. So, we gathered some of our supporters, regional representatives and Team PCA, including PCA CEO Ali Stunt, and spent the day outside the Department of Health. We were also joined by Nic Dakin MP (Chair of the APPG on pancreatic cancer) and Nick Thomas-Symmonds MP (Vice Chair of APPG PC).

In addition, we had two advertising vans outside the department of health promoting the powerful visual campaign. This gathered a lot of media attention and our demonstration was covered by Channel 4 news:

We decided that that in order to make a big noise we need to get out there and shout about this to really atract attention and gain signatures for our petition to get this d

There was also a demonstration today outside the Department of Health offices, with two advertising vans promoting the powerful visual campaign.  Demonstrators, including members from the Pancreatic Cancer Action team, will be calling for the public to support their campaign by signing a government petition initiated by Pancreatic Cancer Action, which can be found here.