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Blood Cancer Alliance report on access to new drugs and treatments

Published on: 12 November 2020

New report finds two thirds of blood cancer patients are concerned about accessing the most effective treatment.

BCA report

When it comes to treatment, blood cancers are more complex than solid tumour cancers. Surgery and radiotherapy are rarely an option. As a result, ensuring blood cancer patients have timely access to the best and most effect new medicines and treatment is therefore critical to improving patient outcomes.

The future of blood cancer treatment is promising, with many new treatment options on the horizon. However, they need to be accessed by the patients that need them. 

The Blood Cancer Alliance*, of which Lymphoma Action is a member, have published a report which identifies challenges in access to new drugs and treatments for people with blood cancer on the NHS. This new research, commissioned by the Blood Cancer Alliance shows that:

  • two thirds (67%) of blood cancer patients are concerned about accessing new and effective treatments with one in ten (11.5%) stating they are extremely concerned. 
  • whilst there are many new blood cancer treatments coming down the pipeline, NICE and the SMC need to be better prepared and equipped for their appraisal - including better horizon scanning and improving their methods.
  • there is an urgent need for patients to be more involved in research and development. The Alliance is calling on NICE to improve its use of patient perspectives as part of its decision-making process. 

This report gives Lymphoma Action and the blood cancer community strong evidence of the barriers to accessing treatments. We will be championing the issues and recommendations alongside the Blood Cancer Alliance over the next 6 months to key audiences. 

Stephen Scowcroft, Director of Operations and External Affairs

*About the Blood Cancer Alliance

The Blood Cancer Alliance is a group of fifteen charities who together are working to tackle the issues blood cancer patients face and improve the experience and outcomes of all those living with blood cancer. The Alliance has a UK-wide remit and is open to registered charities who have a strong primary focus on blood cancer. Our current members are: 
ACLT, Anthony Nolan, Blood Cancer UK, CLL Support, CML Support Group, DKMS, Leukaemia Care, Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, Leukaemia Cancer Society, Leukaemia UK, Lymphoma Action, MDS UK Patient Support Group, Myeloma UK, Race Against Blood Cancer and WMUK.

12 November 2020