“This decision will improve the quality of life for thousands of mesothelioma sufferers,” says solicitor
People suffering from mesothelioma, the incurable asbestos-related cancer, have welcomed an announcement from the NHS’s drug advisors the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reversing the decision it made in last summer to block the widespread use of the drug Alimta by the NHS. Mesothelioma sufferers and their solicitors lobbied NICE to allow the drug to be prescribed and it has been announced that it should be widely available later this year after all.
NICE had previously said there was not enough evidence the drug is better than cheaper treatments, but many mesothelioma sufferers and their representatives believed the decision would leave patients worse off.
Paul Meehan, partner at Pattinson & Brewer Solicitors, represents mesothelioma sufferers all over the UK. He says: “This decision, opening up the drug to mesothelioma sufferers, will improve the quality of life of thousands of people.
“The case to open up the use of Alimta to people in England and Wales was made vociferously by ourselves and our clients.
“It is already routinely prescribed in Scotland and across the EU, so we feel NICE has made the right decision.
“There is no cure for mesothelioma, the majority of cases being contracted after asbestos exposure in the workplace, often due to the lack of care and protection afforded by an employer. Any respite that this drug can provide will be welcomed by our clients and their families.”