The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation


We have welcomed the government announcement today on plans to allow patients who urgently need treatment to gain access to drugs before they are licensed.

The Prime Minister revealed details of a consultation on an early access scheme which would allow seriously ill patients the right to use cutting edge medicines.

We believe the scheme could be a huge benefit to lung cancer patients – many of whom are diagnosed too late for traditional treatments, such as surgery.

This plan should make new drugs and technologies available more quickly than ever before, in areas where new treatments are urgently needed.

It is particularly good news for lung cancer patients as treatment options are often extremely limited, compared with other common cancers. Because of the nature of the disease, time is also very much of the essence.

This announcement should allow lung cancer patients in England, to access new and promising drugs early, in advance of them going through the licencing process.”

Through the ‘early access scheme’, the medicines regulator, the MHRA, will give an opinion on the risks and benefits of very promising new drugs to treat patients with life threatening or debilitating conditions for whom there are no satisfactory treatment options. The MHRA will consider the safety quality and efficacy of the new drug and will make a recommendation on the appropriateness of these drugs being prescribed before they are fully licensed

This means seriously ill patients – patients of any age who have no other hope of being treated or having their life extended – could benefit from drugs more quickly – around a year before they are licensed

Clinicians and patients will be given detailed information so they can make an informed choice. This means that exciting new developments could be given to patients in the UK before anywhere else in the world.

3 Replies

Thank you Emma,

I did listen to David Camerons annoucement on early access to new cancer drugs,and like you, could see the benefits this would provide to cancer patients,particularly,lung cancer patients.I did notice you used the word England as a term of reference,I am hoping this was a freudian slip,and that the scheme includes all of the UK,LOL.

I hope you dont mind,but I have taken the liberty to posting your comments to my friends in Team Inspire and Lungevity,taking care to include the official Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation disclaimer.


I think this is fantastic news! It really gives hope to us.

I posted the BBC report on my FB group yesterday.


Eric - I have to admit I don't know if it will cover Scotland as well. The report I saw said England, but this may also have been another Freudian slip? I'm checking with the powers that be and will let you know. We're hoping this will be of real benefit, particularly for lung cancer patients.


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