Theresa May addresses Isla Caton's case after Hornchurch and Upminster MP raises the issue
PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 June 2018
Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez raised the case of a three-year-old battling a rare cancer in the House of Commons.
Prime minister Theresa May spoke about the affordability of an expensive drug for the NHS after Mrs Lopez raised the case of Isla Caton during Prime Minister Question time on Wednesday, June 13.
Isla was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma in March last year.
Her parents are trying to raise £250,000 for Isla to go to America where she can receive injections of antibodies that will raise her chances of survival from 20 per cent to 70pc.
Just 100 children in the UK are diagnosed with Neuroblastoma every year and immunotherapy – which involves the injection of an antibody therapy – is not currently available in this country.
Mrs Lopez was made aware of Isla’s case when she met with her father, Michael Caton in Parliament last year.
After meeting with him, the MP tabled parliamentary questions about Neuroblastoma and met with representatives of drug company, EUSA to discuss their new treatment for Neuroblastoma and the potential for it to be funded by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice).
Nice decides which treatments can be received on the NHS.
“Nice and EUSA met this month to discuss this further and I very much hope they can come to a deal so that patients can receive treatment in the UK rather than having to fundraise to go to the US,” said Mrs Lopez.
In the House of Commons she asked: “Will the prime minister encourage Nice and drugs companies to do a deal to provide new treatments for children in Britain instead of families fundraising to receive such treatments in America?”
Theresa May responded: “Nice is developing guidelines for NHS on the use of [a special drug] for the treatment of high-risk Neuroblastoma, and it’s not been able to recommend the drug as a clinical and cost effective use of resources in it’s draft guidance, but it has consulted stakeholders on its recent draft recommendations.
“It is an ongoing Nice appraisal. It’s not for government to intervene in that, but they will take all the comments that are made into account when they are making their final guidance.
“I think the manufacturer of the drug is currently making the drug available to some NHS patients through a compassionate use scheme.”
Isla has been undergoing treatment for over a year, but suffered a relapse in February which meant that she had to start all over again.
To support Isla visit her justgiving page here.