This decision acknowledges the poor prognosis of mesothelioma sufferers and the importance of providing treatment which, although not curative, can be efficacious for some patients suffering from very aggressive and rare cancers. NICE also acknowledges that mesothelioma is uniquely caused by exposure to asbestos
James Hilditch, who suffers from mesothelioma and has received treatment with Alimta says:
“I would not be here today if I had not been treated with Alimta. At last every mesothelioma sufferer can be assessed for treatment, which can be of great help to some mesothelioma patients. This is a good decision by NICE which will be welcomed by mesothelioma sufferers, their families and their doctors throughout the UK.”
Tony Whitston, Chair of the Forum of Asbestos Victims Support Groups UK, says:
“This excellent decision by NICE must now be swiftly acted on by PCTs throughout the country… Department of Health Guidance advises that every PCT “ should use its best endeavours to ensure that any new treatments recommended by NICE are available as soon as possible after NICE issues Technology Appraisal Guidance.”
“We are calling on all PCTs to fully comply with this guidance and to make immediate arrangements for the provision of Alimta for the treatment of mesothelioma”.
“We would like to thank all those who have campaigned for this treatment for mesothelioma, a disease caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure and which was, and is, entirely preventable”.
For more information contact Tony Whitston or Hazel Bowden, Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, Tel: 0161 636 7555.
N.I.C.E. Final Appraisal Determination can be viewed at: http://guidance.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=439351