Please write to your MSPs following the SMC’s decision to turn down Abraxane

We are urging all Scottish residents to write to their MSPs regarding the rejection of Abraxane by the SMC.  You can read more about this here – https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/news/pancreatic-cancer-patients-lose-abraxane-turned-smc/

If you wish, you can use our e-mail/letter below for you to send to your MSPs.  If you have any questions, please e-mail us at enquiries@panact.org.

Dear XX,

As a member of your constituency, I am writing to you to seek your assistance following a very disappointing decision by Scottish Medicines Consortium to turn down a life extending drug, which could cut short the lives of hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients in Scotland.

Abraxane, a drug that could significantly impact the survival of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, has not been approved for NHS patients by the SMC.

Despite being the fifth deadliest cancer in the UK, and having a shockingly low survival rate of three per cent, pancreatic cancer receives very little attention and funding as it is.  This news is therefore a devastating blow to patients, and their loved ones, who already face a terrible prognosis.

Patients like Andy Luck, for example, a hardworking motorcycle paramedic in Glasgow, who has been left devastated that the drug, the first to be newly licenced to fight advanced pancreatic cancer in almost two decades, has been rejected.  Read his interview in the Daily Record here: http://bit.ly/UqJGu4

It is particularly disappointing as it was made available to NHS patients in England via the Cancer Drugs Fund only two months ago, and across Europe earlier this year.

Published data from the Phase III IMPACT clinical trial showed that Abraxane, in combination with gemcitabine, can extend a patient’s life by an average of 2.1 months compared to gemcitabine alone.

On the face of it 2.1 months doesn’t sound like much, but for patients who on average face only a 4-6 month life expectancy on diagnosis, this can be a big deal for both them and their families.

Also 2.1 months is an average figure – a closer look at the data from the clinical trial will show that there are some patients who have lived more than 2 years on this trial with metastatic pancreatic cancer. That is the potential hope this drug combination can give patients.

Scotland is already lagging behind much of the UK in terms of one year survival.    For example, 25 per cent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in South West London will survive for over a year, while in Scotland, it is just over 15 per cent.

Please help us in any way you can to get SMC to reconsider this terrible decision.  Any delay is directly affecting patients so this needs to be discussed immediately.

I would be happy to talk to you about this further either over the phone or in person.

I look forward to your response and thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully