Facebook Facebook Share

Ovarian cancer survival rates, and the treatment options available for women, have changed little in the last 20 years, and there is an urgent need for investment in new life-extending treatments. Of desperate concern is the variation that women across the UK experience in attempting to access the few new drugs that have shown promise, resulting in huge inequalities in treatment available. 

What needs to change?

Across the UK, we support an evidence-based drug appraisal system that permits genuinely innovative and effective drugs to be approved for routine use on the NHS - and provides clinically defensible rationales for the drugs that are not approved to the patients that would have benefited.

The system should allow clinicians the flexibility to prescribe the drugs that evidence shows would benefit their patients, both for routine and exceptional cases.

  • All women with ovarian cancer should have access to the latest and best treatments.
  • Geographical variation of access to drugs should end – we must avoid circumstances where women in one area are getting the latest drugs while women in neighbouring areas are being refused the same treatment.
  • The system for appraising drugs needs to be open, transparent and consistent so that patients can have greater certainty around what drugs they can receive, at prices that are affordable to the NHS and allows the pharmaceutical industry to make a fair return on their investment.
  • Governments across the UK, NICE, Scottish Medicines Consortium, All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group, and the pharmaceutical industry, must work collaboratively with patient groups and charities like Target Ovarian Cancer, to ensure that the patient viewpoint is adequately represented when the decisions about drug availability are made.
  • A longer-term solution is needed throughout the UK which will ensure that women with ovarian cancer can continue to access the best treatments.

Our campaign so far

Help us campaign

  • Drugs that are currently under evaluation in the UK are olaparib, and Avastin for women with a recurrence of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. If you have accessed these drugs, please get in touch to tell us about your experiences.
  • If you are struggling to access the drugs you feel you should be able to, anywhere in the UK, please get in contact, and we can support you with applications and challenging decisions.
  • Share your story with us - it is the stories from people who have experienced ovarian cancer firsthand that influence change, and that inspire women or family members in similar circumstances.

Stay up to date

Read related news

Pills on a table
Monday 7 November 2016
Scotland has today made an announcement that puts the nation’s healthcare system ahead of the other UK nations when it comes to ovarian cancer diagnosis, access to drugs and guidelines to treatment. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) today greenlit new drug olaparib (Lynparza®) for use in the...
Yiyan in the lab
Monday 19 September 2016
Dr Yiyan Zheng (pictured) is a post-doctoral researcher in Professor Ahmed Ashour Ahmed’s lab at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM), University of Oxford. Target Ovarian Cancer has funded Dr Zheng’s work since 2013. We visited the lab to ask him about his important work on ovarian...
Cancer Drugs Fund
Friday 29 July 2016
Today sees a new Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) swing into action, with a new set of rules and implications for people with a diagnosis of cancer across England. The CDF currently funds bevacizumab (Avastin) for first line treatment of ovarian cancer, which offers up to nine months’ overall survival in...
Thursday 25 February 2016
Today, NHS England’s thoughts turn to the future of the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) as it makes a landmark decision following a consultation on next steps for the Fund. Target Ovarian Cancer Chief Executive Annwen Jones has been one of three lay representatives on the Cancer Drugs Fund Panel since 2014...