We call on the National Assembly for Wales to consider making the drug Pertuzumab available on the NHS in Wales.
The drug Pertuzumab is used in the treatment of Breast Cancer, and is currently available to cancer patients on the NHS living in England, but not for cancer patients living in Wales.
Pertuzumab is a targeted cancer drug (biological therapy) and is also known by its brand name, Perjeta. It also used to be called Omnitarg.
It is a treatment predominantly for breast cancer. It is used before surgery for early breast cancer. It is also used for breast cancer that has spread (secondary breast cancer) or breast cancer that has come back in the breast (recurrent breast cancer).
Cancer patients have pertuzumab in combination with the biological therapy trastuzumab (Herceptin) and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere).
The drug has been proven to significantly increase progression-free and overall survival for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Trial data, presented at a conference of the European Society for Medical Oncology, shows that the combined treatment can extend the survival of women with advanced HER2+ breast cancer by 15.7 months more than the current standard treatment
Pertuzumab is currently also used in clinical trials for other types of cancer, such as:
• ovarian cancer
• prostate cancer
• stomach cancer
There are many women currently in Wales, who would benefit hugely from having access to this drug on the NHS. However they have no option but to currently fund it themselves whereas across the border in England it is available on the NHS.
Self funding for many people is not an option, therefore on pure locality alone these women are not receiving the best treatment available.
It is unfair that women in England are getting the treatment they need through the NHS, while women in Wales are not.