Eastwood MSP backs campaign for ‘life-changing’ breast cancer drug

Jackson Carlaw MSP with Jen Hardy, Perjeta Now campaigner, and Lawrence Cowan, Scotland Manager for Breast Cancer Now.
Jackson Carlaw MSP with Jen Hardy, Perjeta Now campaigner, and Lawrence Cowan, Scotland Manager for Breast Cancer Now.

Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw is backing Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to ensure the “life-changing” breast cancer drug Perjeta is made available to women in Scotland.

Mr Carlaw joined secondary breast cancer patient and Perjeta Now campaigner Jen Hardy at Holyrood to support the charity’s petition calling for the manufacturer Roche, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to work together to agree a deal to finally make Perjeta routinely available on the NHS in Scotland.

Perjeta, taken in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel (a chemotherapy drug), is a first-line treatment for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

It gives patients with incurable breast cancer nearly 16 additional months of good-quality life, on average – compared to the alternative treatment option of trastuzumab and docetaxel alone.

While it has been the standard of care in England for over four years, Perjeta has been rejected three times in a row by medicines approval body the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) as it is not considered cost-effective.

Following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament last Wednesday between patients, MSPs, the Scottish Government and Roche, it was announced that the drug company intends to make a new application to the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for Perjeta to be considered for NHS use in Scotland.

In light of this progress, Mr Carlaw has urged constituents across Eastwood to sign the charity’s petition calling for a long-awaited solution on Perjeta to be found as soon as possible.

He said: “It is a travesty that women with incurable breast cancer living in Eastwood are still missing out on a life-changing drug that is now routinely available in other parts of the UK.

“The precious extra time that Perjeta offers could mean the world to patients.

“It’s the hope of being able to see their children grow older or spending another Christmas with their loved ones.

“That’s why I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to make this drug available to women in Scotland. I want to urge people across Eastwood to join me and sign the petition.

“It only takes a few minutes but you could change the lives of women, and their families, living with secondary breast cancer in Eastwood.”