Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Breakthrough skin cancer pill Zelboraf now available to prescribe in Britain

Published on 14/03/2012

Breakthrough skin cancer pill Zelboraf goes on sale for the first time in Britain today, but still needs approval from NICE before being prescribed on the NHS.

Vemurafenib, marketed by drugs firm Roche as Zelboraf, has been shown to double the survival time of patients with advanced skin cancer, after decades without a major medical advance in this field.


Breakthrough skin cancer pill is now on sale in Britain

European approval means that the breakthrough drug should be available for patients with full cancer cover on their private medical insurance policy, although prior approval from their insurer is recommended.

However, in England Zelboraf will have to be assessed by watchdog NICE before it becomes available on the NHS. Until then, patients will have to apply to get the drug through the Cancer Drug's Fund or on their private medical insurance.

Swansea oncologist Professor John Wagstaff says he fears Welsh skin cancer sufferers could miss out on the revolutionary £1,700 a week drug Zelboraf (vemurafenib) as there is no Cancer Drugs Fund in place in Wales.

Malignant melanoma is an aggressive and dangerous skin cancer, believed to be caused by over-exposure to the sun or sunbeds. For those whose tumours spread to other organs, only half survive longer than six months.

However, a large international study showed that Zelboraf boosted the proportion surviving to six months to 84 per cent. Another smaller study found that patients treated with Zelboraf had a median survival of 16 months.

Not only could the twice daily pill increase survival by as much as 8 to 10 months, but it also reduces pain and gives patients back their energy.

Zelboraf only works in about half of advanced skin cancer patients, in those whose melanomas have a mutated form of the BRAF gene called V600. The drug works by turning this mutation off and retarding cancerous cells.

A small minority of patients have even exhibited a ‘complete response’, when physical tumours can no longer be seen on CT scans.

Cally Palmer, chief executive of The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, said: "This is an important and significant step forward for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma."

From today, Zelboraf is approved for sale across Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

One of the main benefits of private medical insurance is having access to licensed drugs like Zelboraf on your policy before they become available for use on the NHS, so compare health insurance quotes online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012


Categories:  Medical
Breakthrough skin cancer pill Zelboraf now available to prescribe in BritainBreakthrough skin cancer pill Zelboraf goes on sale for the first time in Britain today, but still needs approval from NICE before being pre    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile
 

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member

I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth knowledge, the efficiency and the nice and polite manner of the staff - the explanations were made very clearly.

Review centre member
 
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...