Rabbitte welcomes Government u-turn on life changing cancer drug

A commitment to approve a life changing cancer drug has been given by the Health Minister Simon Harris, after Galway East Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte raised the case of a man in her constituency who has been fighting the disease for six years.

Minister Harris confirmed this week that the HSE will approve the leukaemia drug Ibrutinib. “I am pleased the Minister has finally seen sense and decided to approve funding for this life changing drug," said Dep Rabbitte.

Depo Rabbitte has met with a family recently who stressed the importance of the medication. "The father, a 45-year-old man with three small children, has already endured a number of cycles of chemotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. His consultant recommended Ibrutinib, which would improve his quality of life without the need for further chemotherapy

“This story is one of many which have been highlighted across the country. I raised the issue of HSE approval with Minister Simon Harris last week, emphasising the life changing impact it will have on cancer patients and their families. The delays to treatment, which have been experienced by cancer patients waiting for this drug to be approved by the HSE, are unacceptable, and I am pleased that the minister has decided to intervene to give the funding the go-ahead.

“This is a life changing drug, which gives patients a 90% chance of survival and allows them to live chemotherapy-free. I am calling on Minister Harris to ensure that Ibrutinib is rolled out to cancer patients without delay so that patients are given the best possible treatment opportunities”.

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