CLL Support Association is member of the Blood Cancer Alliance and supports the demand for the reinstatement of recently halted therapies by NHS England; in particular reinstatement of stem cell transplants for patients with a rare blood cancer Waldenstroms Macroglobulinaemia (WM)..
Yesterdays letter and the BCA demand
We are dismayed with the announcement last week that following the High Court ruling on the commissioning of PrEP, NHS England has announced that access to nine treatments for other diseases that had previously been approved for NHS use are now on hold.
The example of one treatment, stem cell transplantation for patients with rare blood cancer Waldenström’s Macroglobulinaemia (WM), is particularly stark. Transplants for WM patients have been carried out successfully on the NHS for the past 10 years, and with this option now being withheld indefinitely pending the High Court appeal, patients will not have access to this last chance for survival. The withholding of these treatments has led to huge uncertainty and confusion for patients and clinicians.
There appears to be no valid or transparent process for why access to these treatments has been suspended by NHS England. For WM patients, this comes after the removal of the treatment bortezomib from the Cancer Drugs Fund last year, one of several blood cancer indications delisted for NHS use during 2015.
In suspending access to these treatments due to the legal ruling, NHS England is pitting one population of patients against another, which is hugely unfair to patients on all sides.
We demand that NHS England reinstates access to these immediately, and a long term, sustainable solution is found so all patients can continue to access the treatments they need at a cost the NHS can afford.
Basil Skyers Myeloma Foundation
CLL Support Association
Waldenström’s Macroglobulinaemia UK