Pembro drug will now be made available to all patients with cervical cancer
It has been announced that Pembro, a drug which could help women with cervical cancer will now be made available for all suitable patients.
If the drug is recommended by a doctor, all women with cervical cancer will now be able to access the immunotherapy drug following efforts from campaigners including women who have been victims of cancer.
Today, Labour party health spokesman Alan Kelly thanked Vicky Phelan, Tracey Brennan and Áine Morgan and all those who had been campaigning to make this change happen.
Delighted to say that I’ve been notified that all Cervical Cancer patients whose clinicians want to prescribe the drug pembro will now be able to do so. I want to thank @PhelanVicky, Tracey Brennan, Aine Morgan and all @221plus for their support in making this happen. ?? pic.twitter.com/dVDWu0Q6Fw
— Alan Kelly TD (@alankellylabour) January 23, 2019
Up to now, the 221 women who were affected by the Cervical Check controversy were only able to access the drug but other women suffering from the disease were prevented from doing so.
Today's decision has changed all that.
Vicky Phelan, one of the most prominent voices of the Cervical Check Scandal initially paid for her own treatment before the government funded it.
So delighted to get this news today. Huge thanks to Deputy @alankellylabour for his perseverance and dedication to this cause. And to @SimonHarrisTD for coming to an arrangement with the @INFO_NCPE It is a good news day for #CervicalCancerPreventionWeek https://t.co/dmICQODWmm
— Vicky Phelan (@PhelanVicky) January 23, 2019
The immunotherapy drug can cost up to €8,500 every three weeks and the news that it will now be made available to cervical check patients is a huge landmark in what has been one of the most devastating scandals in Irish history.
Stephen Teap, who lost his wife Irene to cervical cancer in July 2017, said that it "took a while to get there" and congratulated the campaigners in getting it over the line.
A bittersweet moment for Stephen and so many more.
It was good to get this news this morning,it took a while to get there but it's done now. Great to give the likes of Aine,Tracey and others another opportunity to save their lives, well done all in finally getting this over the line @alankellylabour @PhelanVicky @SimonHarrisTD https://t.co/uUi3aakz3U
— Stephen Teap (@Stephenteap) January 23, 2019