NHSE launch new life-extending blood cancer drug

NHS England has launched a new life-extending injection for a fatal form of blood cancer, called multiple myeloma, which will be available to around 350 patients per year in England. 

The drug – known as Daratumumab – can extend the lives of patients with the incurable and recurring cancer of the bone marrow cells by an average of nine months and was approved for routine use by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) after it was made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund.  

The treatment will be offered to multiple myeloma patients who have tried at least three other treatments and will be administered via a regular injection. 

Within the NHSE statement, the organisation highlights the drug will help improve the quality of life for patients, as well as provide a greater chance of accessing further treatment.  

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive, NHS, said: “This quick injection can have a real impact on the lives of patients and their families and so it is important news that it is now routinely available on the NHS. 

“The drug will offer a ray of light to hundreds of people each year who have had limited success with other treatments for this devastating, advanced blood cancer. 

“It is also the latest in a long list of cutting-edge, targeted cancer treatments that the NHS has secured routine access to through the Cancer Drugs Fund, making it good value for taxpayers too. 

Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, added: “It is great the NHS will begin routinely administering daratumumab to blood cancer patients – this life-extending drug is another example of an innovative treatment being rolled out on the NHS, marking a significant stride in our mission to make the country’s cancer care the best in Europe. 

“The government is placing huge emphasis on research into the best possible care and treatment for cancer as part of the 10-Year Cancer Plan, as well as improving early diagnosis so treatment can be more effective”.