Asbestos-Related Cancer Mesothelioma
People across the UK affected by asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma have welcomed a decision by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to make chemotherapy drug Alimta available on the NHS.
Guidance for the drug has finally been issued after a two-year campaign backed by founder of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, Chris Knighton and asbestos compensation claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors.
Chris said: “We have been campaigning hard over the last two years and it is a wonderful day that this decision has been made. People will now receive the treatment they justly deserve.
“This news is a relief for the hundreds of mesothelioma sufferers in the UK. Alimta may not be a cure but it offers precious extra time for patients and their families. It also provides relief from their symptoms allowing them to enjoy a better quality of life during their last months.”
Head of Asbestos Policy
Head of asbestos policy at Thompsons Solicitors Ian McFall said: “This is fantastic news for mesothelioma sufferers and their families. Alimta is the only specific licensed chemotherapy treatment for this devastating illness. This decision will now allow doctors to provide the treatment on the NHS. It is an important breakthrough.”
There is no cure for mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. More than 2,000 people every year are diagnosed with the disease, which often leaves sufferers with a life expectancy of just months.
Specialists estimate around 700 people a year could benefit from Alimta.
Alimta is said to extend the lives of some sufferers and has proven to improve quality of life.
Earlier this year NICE ruled against the use of Alimta across the NHS. But following an appeal to NICE agreed to carry out a review of the evidence.
Patients living elsewhere in the UK were faced with having to pay up to £8,000 per cycle to obtain the treatment.
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.