MP calls for cancer drug approval

Eric Ollerenshaw MP
Eric Ollerenshaw MP

Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw has pressed for the approval of the life-extending cancer drug Abraxane by the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Speaking in Parliament, Eric raised concerns over the way the CDF approves life-extending drugs, specifically the criteria used by the CDF for how long a patient’s life may be extended by using a new drug.

The CDF measures whether to recommend a new drug based partly on Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) This is a measurement of the state of health and how long life is prolonged running from optimum health to death.

With the life expectancy of pancreatic cancer patients averaging less than six months from diagnosis, there is a worry that compared to other cancers, the average of two months additional life-expectancy provided by Abraxane may be deemed insufficient.

Eric, who lost his partner to pancreatic cancer, said: “Abraxane provides a real chance for pancreatic cancer patient to fulfil, in the short space of time most are given after diagnosis, some of the many things we take for granted, whether extra time with their family and friends or to simply see out the remainder of their lives with dignity.”

“Abraxane has already been approved for use with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

“It has been described as the biggest advance in pancreatic cancer treatment in almost two decades.

“I hope the Cancer Drugs Fund approves the use of Abraxane more widely and gives pancreatic cancer patients the time they deserve.”