A WEST of Scotland MSP has backed Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to ensure “life-changing” drug Perjeta is made available to women in Scotland.

Maurice Golden MSP joined secondary breast cancer patient and Perjeta Now campaigner Jen Hardy at Holyrood petitioning for manufacturer Roche, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to work together to make the drug available on the NHS.

Perjeta – taken in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel (a chemotherapy drug) – is said to give patients with incurable breast cancer nearly 16 additional months of good-quality life, on average.

While it has been the standard of care in England for more than four years, Perjeta has been rejected three times in a row by medicines approval body the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) as it is not considered cost-effective.

Roche intends to make a new application to the SMC for Perjeta to be considered for NHS use in Scotland.

Mr Golden said: “It is a travesty that women with incurable breast cancer living in Scotland are still missing out on a life-changing drug that is now routinely available in other parts of the UK.

“The precious extra time that Perjeta offers could mean the world to patients. It’s the hope of being able to see their children grow older or spending another Christmas with their loved ones.

“That’s why I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now’s campaign to make this drug available to women in Scotland. I want to urge people across the West of Scotland to join me and sign the petition.”

Lawrence Cowan, Scotland manager at Breast Cancer Now said: “The news that Roche are to re-submit Perjeta to the SMC is a promising step in the right direction.

“But we need to keep the pressure up to ensure everyone works together to agree a deal quickly.

“Women with incurable secondary breast cancer don’t have time to lose. Women in Scotland need Perjeta now.”