Policy highlights: September 2018

05 Oct 2018

A round-up of the policy achievements we made in September 2018

Our policy event in Parliament at the beginning of the month was a great success. With 70 MPs turning up to the Bloodwise Photocall in Parliament it was a good day to put our name out there. We handed out badges and briefings to all MPs who attended. Our social media team Tweeted each of the MPs pictures out and they were sent a personalised press release for their local press/ website. If you saw any of these press releases please let us know!

As the secretariat for the APPG on Blood Cancer we also held a meeting looking at the diagnosis of blood cancers. Hearing from Myeloma UK, Leukaemia Care and the Royal Society of Pathologists.

We also had some big achievements in our policy work with NHS and NICE. This summer we gave evidence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence about the importance of CAR-T to people living with blood cancer. NICE have assessed both Kymriah for 3-25 year olds with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and adults with DLBCL, as well as Yescarta for DLBCL, follicular lymphoma and mediastinal B-cell lymphoma. We’ve also commented on draft commissioning specifications, emphasising the need for greater information and support for people undergoing the therapy. Although we’re pleased that Kymriah has been approved for children with ALL, we hope more people will be able to benefit from CAR-T in future. To this end, we will be making short responses to the initial decisions not to approve either DLBCL indications.

The policy team’s strong relationship with NHS England meant that NHS England approached Bloodwise in advance to comment on the CAR-T announcement, and this triggered the intense media interest. We delighted that extensive media coverage of the announcement gave us the opportunity to explain CAR-T cell therapy and talk about the needs of people with blood cancer. Many thanks to everyone who helped support us with this work.