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Newspaper scores victory in bid to make cancer drug available on NHS

A life-extending drug for patients with inoperable breast cancer has been made publicly available after a daily newspaper’s campaign.

The Daily Record launched a bid in March to get Kadcyla made available on the National Health Service.

The drug has fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy and allows women to feel well in addition to extending life.

Health editor Vivienne Aitken headed up the Glasgow-based paper’s campaign by featuring the stories of four terminally ill women, pictured below, who have either benefitted from the drug or who will need it in the future.


Among the four was Alison Tait, who is undergoing chemotherapy for HER2+ metastasized breast cancer and was joined by 16-year-old daughter Ellen in calling for the drug’s use to be approved on the Record’s front page.

The series ran over four days and attracted more than 13,000 signatures to a petition which was presented to the Scottish Medicines Consortium before it met to approve the drug.

Record editor Murray Foote said: “The newspaper first became aware of the importance of the drug last year when a former palliative care nurse with two young sons was refused the drug under an individual patient treatment request.

“Anne Maclean-Chang’s story was taken up by the Record and within hours of the story appearing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stepped in to ensure she was given funding for the drug. Anne is still alive and feeling very well.

He added: “More than 100 women in Scotland every year will now be able to spend more quality time with their families at the end of their lives.”

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  • May 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Great piece of campaigning here by the Daily Record and so encouraging to see quality campaigning and real issues adopted by a paper and it’s readers to such good and worthy effect.
    Congratulations to all who made it happen

    Other ‘campaigning’ editors please note

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