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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

APPG on Off-Patent Drugs

Bsue with reportsrain Tumour Research chief executive Sue Farrington Smith sat on a panel giving evidence at the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Off-Patent Drugs. The Inquiry sheds light on a Private Members’ Bill which is currently going through Parliament, the Off-Patent Drugs Bill (2015-16).

The panel, made up of preeminent clinicians and researchers as well as leading charities, focused on removing barriers to patient access for off-patent drugs. 

Off-patent drugs are drugs which are no longer protected by a patent and, therefore, are often not widely available as pharmaceutical companies have no commercial incentive to sell them. As they are off-patent there is often a lack of knowledge about them, meaning GPs and doctors do not prescribe them as they simply do not know they exist, or are worried about the repercussions of doing so should the treatment fail.This means that patients are missing out on potentially lifesaving treatment.

Brain Tumour Research is supporting this Private Members’ Bill as we believe that making these drugs more available to brain tumour patients would take great strides towards saving some of the 16,000 people who are diagnosed with a primary or secondary brain tumour each year.

Brain Tumour Research included in our ‘Invest in a Cure’ manifesto a focus on drug repurposing (the application of drugs for different indications). We are calling for greater repurposing of drugs to ensure vital research is not wasted and can be used to the benefit of all patients.

Drug repurposing reduces the timeframe and decreases the cost of lifesaving drug development and is a crucial method of saving lives. Unfortunately, this practice does not happen enough. The APPG inquiry discussed how barriers to this can be overcome and how the Government can support faster access to lifesaving drugs for patients.

Brain Tumour Research hopes the Government will take note of the Bill and the recommendations made by the panel.

For information about how you can support the Bill, please contact sue@braintumourresearch.org.

Read our ‘Invest in a Cure’ manifesto here.

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