08 July 2015
New Cancer Drug Approved by the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS)
A revolutionary new lung and skin cancer drug has been approved for use in the UK. The UK’s drug regulators have approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s new cancer drug Opdivo (Nivolumab) for use under the new scheme.
Nivolumab can be used to slow the advance of certain types of lung and skin cancer by enhancing the body’s natural defence system.
The immune system is designed to defend us from infection. But it is also designed to not attack its own tissues. Nivolumab, which has been labelled as a “milestone” therapy, boosts the immune system to help it recognise and attack cancer.
Clinical trials have shown Nivolumab to have boosted cancer survival rates by 56%. In one trial, involving more than 400 patients, the drug stopped melanoma from progressing for almost a year in 58% of patients.
Although it is not yet fully licensed, the drug has now been approved by the UK’s Early Access to Medicines Scheme, which aims to give patients access to promising new drugs.
Gill Nuttall, from Melanoma UK, stated that the drug’s approval “provides more options for patients and the potential of better, longer survival.”
The drug’s approval by the Early Access to Medicines Scheme is a positive step as it means more patients will have access to treatment which could potentially prolong their lives.
Having worked with clients who have suffered delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, I appreciate how devastating the disease can be. Any drug that could assist patients to fight cancer is therefore, to be very much welcomed.
James Bell is a Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
If you or a loved one suffered from melanoma due to clinical or medical negligence, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.
If you would like to find out more about melanoma and the dangers of skin cancer, you can read a blog one of our skin cancer specialists has written about skin cancer symptoms: Mole or Melanoma: Most of Us Would Not Know The Difference