HSE needs to provide cancer drug to public patients


Nivo is an immunology drug which can be used by oncologists to treat a range of cancers.

Fine Gael TD for Sligo – Leitrim, and Assistant Fine Gael Whip, Tony McLoughlin has called on the relevant authorities and management in the HSE to act fast to ensure that the life enhancing immunology drug ‘Nivolumab’ (NIVO) is made available to public patients in the Irish health system as a matter of urgency.
Nivo is an immunology drug which can be used by oncologists to treat a range of cancers such as melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and a host of other illnesses
The NIVO drug has been approved as been effective by the HSE since July 2017 and it has also been given the green light to be funded by the Department for Health. However, much to the dismay of many families, the drug is not yet available to public patients in Ireland.
Speaking in the Dail yesterday, under topical issues, Deputy McLoughlin questioned the Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D. about the NIVO drug and in particular he raised the case of one local constituent who needs urgent and immediate access to the NIVO drug if his life is to be saved.
Peter Milne, a retired school teacher and local cancer charity fundraiser from Sligo is one of a number of patients currently awaiting access to Nivo. McLoughlin stated “I asked the Minister to come to the Dáil tonight as Peter’s family needed answers from him on when this drug would be made available to the public. Time is very much of the essence here for Peter and there were fears being expressed that this decision could have gone on for months and months on end.
“I am glad that the Minister has advised me on the record of the house tonight that this Drug will commence to the public in a matter of weeks and I hope this will prove useful to the many families waiting on this drug.
“My hope now is that the patients such as Peter can receive it as quickly as possible and I would call on the HSE to do all in its power to ensure that this process is ramped up. The money is there, so we simply need to get it done!” concluded Mcloughlin.

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