Everolimus has been made available to treat patients in Wales with certain types of renal, pancreatic or breast cancers, or non-cancerous brain or kidney tumours associated with tuberous sclerosis complex.
The arrangement — the first of its kind and announced on 10 November 2015 — is a two-year agreement reached between the Welsh government and Novartis.
Everolimus will be available where “the clinician, in discussion with the patient, believes it is the appropriate treatment”, a spokesperson for the Welsh government says. She confirmed that an individual patient funding request (IPFR) would not be required for the treatment, which can cost £36,000 per year.
In contrast, for patients living in England, clinicians must make an IPFR to receive funding for the treatment from NHS England. This will only be successful if the patient meets NHS England’s definition of being exceptional.
As part of the deal, Novartis will establish an observational study in Wales to assess outcomes for patients with breast cancer treated with everolimus and exemestane. The company will also offer financial support to various healthcare initiatives in Wales that aim to increase healthcare professional education and improve patient support for conditions treated by everolimus.