Dorridge mum with 'wrong type of cancer' calls for licence change - The Solihull Observer

Dorridge mum with 'wrong type of cancer' calls for licence change

Solihull Editorial 24th Oct, 2023   0

A DORRIDGE mum who has been told she has the ‘wrong type of cancer’ to qualify for a life-saving drug on the NHS is calling for change so others can avoid heartache.

Elaine Lynch fears she will have to sell her house to pay for Enhertu – to treat her non-small cell lung cancer.

She diagnosed in September 2021 – the day after she contacted 111 over concerns that she’d coughed up blood.

A biopsy revealed the cancer had a rare mutation called HER2 – which is found in breast cancer.

The 59-year-old said: “My oncologist told me that Enhertu was the drug I needed, however even though this drug was readily available from the hospital pharmacy they could not let me have it because it was only licensed for use in breast cancer.

“Imagine being told that someone has the drug you need but you can’t have it because you have the wrong type of cancer.”




Her doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham put a compassionate use request to drug manufacturer Daiichi Sanyko and AstraZeneca to give Elaine the drug on the NHS – but in a cruel twist they rejected it and Elaine was left to fund it herself.

She said: “It felt like my life wasn’t as important as somebody with breast cancer.


“It shouldn’t matter where the cancer is, if there is a drug that can treat it then all patients who can benefit should be given access to it.

“Cancer is cancer and the fact that this drug was readily available in the hospital when I needed it but I wasn’t allowed to be given it was really shocking to me.”

Her children set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay treatment costs.

Scans have shown Elaine’s tumour is shrinking but she is no closer to getting Enhertu prescribed.

Elaine, a former business and facilities manager at Knowle Primary School said: “In July Enhertu was supposed to be appraised by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – this gave us hope because once it gets licensed I won’t have to pay privately.

“However, in August this year NICE announced that the process had been put back until July 2024.

“This was a devastating blow as it means that I need to have enough money to pay for another 12 months of treatment, that’s if I stay alive that long.”

Her plight has also been raised in the House of Commons as Meriden MP, Saqib Bhatti, presented a petition launched by Elaine’s partner Chris Goodwin calling on NICE to license Enhertu to be used in lung cancer patients.

Mr Bhatti said: “Elaine’s plight is one that is incredibly close to my heart.

“Everyone should have access to the best medication possible for any affliction they are suffering from, let alone cancer.

“It is of the utmost importance to me that my constituents have access to the best quality healthcare available and I will be doing everything I can to support Elaine in her pursuit of that.”

To sign the petition visit change.org/p/lung-cancer-patients-right-to-live and to donate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-mums-lung-cancer-fight.

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