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Colorectal Cancer: Drugs

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will take steps to make Cetuximab available to patients on the NHS for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer; (137638)

(2) if she will direct Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust to make Cetuximab available to Mr. T. Booth of Chorley constituency.

On 24 January 2007, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance to the national health service on the use of Cetuximab for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

NICE'S guidance did not recommend Cetuximab as a treatment option for metastatic colorectal cancer. However, the guidance states that patients who were receiving Cetuximab should have the option to continue to do so until they and their consultants decide that it is the right time to stop treatment.

It will be for individual primary care trusts to decide whether to fund Cetuximab for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in the light of NICE'S recommendations. It would be inappropriate for ministers to intervene.