Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte has welcomed a commitment from the Health Minister to approve a life changing cancer drug. Minister Harris has confirmed that the HSE will approve the leukaemia drug Ibrutinib, after Deputy Rabbitte raised the case of a man in her constituency who has been fighting the disease for six years.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “I am pleased that the Health Minister has finally seen sense and decided to approve funding for this life changing drug. I met with a family recently who stressed the importance of this medication. The father – a 45 year old man with three small children – has already endured a number of cycles of chemotherapy foe Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia and 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”.