Treatment options for ovarian cancer have changed little over the last two decades. Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are offered a combination of surgery and chemotherapy, or, in a very few cases, surgery or chemotherapy alone.
Some new cancer drugs have been made available in recent years, including bevacizumab (Avastin®), olaparib (Lynparza®) and most recently niraparib (Zejula®). These are exciting developments in the treatment of ovarian cancer but more needs to be done.
Our campaign so far
- Target Ovarian Cancer is a registered stakeholder of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. We respond to all consultations on new ovarian cancer treatments from both the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium). In recent years this has included calling for access to olaparib (Lynparza®) and niraparib (Zejula®), consulting with supporters, providing written submissions and giving evidence in person.
- As Secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer at Westminster, we work to ensure MPs are kept up to date on the latest developments in ovarian cancer treatment and the need to ensure timely access to treatment.
- Our campaigners in Northern Ireland helped secure access to niraparib (Zejula®), sending over 200 emails to MLAs when it became available to women with ovarian cancer in the rest of the UK but not Northern Ireland. We also wrote to the Permanent Secretary, stressing the need for women in Northern Ireland to have access to this groundbreaking new treatment. As a result women in Northern Ireland can now receive niraparib through the new early access scheme.
- The Welsh government reviewed the process for accessing drugs on the NHS following campaigning by Target Ovarian Cancer and campaigners in Wales. Wales now has a New Treatment Fund and women living in Wales can access niraparib (Zejula®) as a result.
- Our campaigners were instrumental in ensuring that bevacizumab (Avastin®) continued to the available on the Cancer Drugs Fund following reforms in 2016.
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