Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has written to the Health Minister calling for the breast cancer drug, Herceptin, to be made available to all breast cancer sufferers who could benefit from the drug.
Peter Lilley said: “I have been trying to help my constituent, Sarah Nayler-Reed, obtain Herceptin. She is a young woman who is HER2 positive and has two young children of 4 years and 16 months old. It is essential that everything that can be done should be done to help her and I have been lobbying the local NHS to encourage them to prescribe the drug for her as soon as possible.
“For breast cancer patients who are HER2 positive, Herceptin can literally be a matter of life and death. If treated with Herceptin in the first year after they are diagnosed, it dramatically increases the likelihood that the disease will not return and that they can lead a full and normal life.
“Only twenty-three percent of women with breast cancer are HER2 positive and Herceptin can only help them. Whilst the drug is available for late-stage breast cancer, it is only available in the early stages for those women who can afford to pay for it and that is not equitable.?
Sarah Naylor-Reed said: “I feel very strongly that a drug that can reduce the high risk of recurrence in breast tumours should be made available both to me and others in my position. Herceptin is our only option to sustain and prolong life. In my case being told at 33 years of age that I had a breast tumour that had already begun to spread was devastating. When I look at my children it gives me the energy to fight to give them a chance of having more time with their mother. A decision about the availability of Herceptin should be made by government as PCTs are just passing the argument back and forth and none of us is being helped