Kezia Dugdale: Let’s give Scots women this cancer lifeline

Jen Hardy and Laurence Cowan from Breast Cancer Now meet Kezia Dugdale
Jen Hardy and Laurence Cowan from Breast Cancer Now meet Kezia Dugdale
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LAST week I met Jen Hardy, a mother from Edinburgh, above. She has incurable secondary breast cancer.

Jen wants to spend as much time as possible with her loved ones; she wants to see her youngest daughter graduate; and she wants to spend more Christmases with her family.

When I met her, she was spending her time outside the Scottish Parliament trying to educate politicians like me about a drug which could extend her life, if only she could get a hold of it.

Perjeta gives patients with Jen’s type of secondary breast cancer nearly 16 additional months of good-quality life and it’s available on the NHS in England and Wales – but it’s not in Scotland.

It’s a travesty that Jen and many women like her across Scotland can’t access this drug. Just because she lives north of Berwick, she is being denied precious months of life.

It’s an injustice at the heart of our health service.

That’s why I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to make this drug available to women in Scotland.

The manufacturer of the drug, Roche, has announced that it intends to make a new application to the Scottish Medicines Consortium for Perjeta to be considered for NHS use north of the border.

The SMC has rejected its use three times in row even though it’s been the standard of care in England for more than four years. I am backing Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to make Perjeta available.

If you agree with me, please sign the petition at www.breastcancernow.org/perjetanow – it only takes a few minutes but you could change the lives of women, and their families, living with secondary breast cancer in Scotland.