Ensuring that the National Health Service is able to support the availability and use of effective treatments and medicines for rare cancers, including multiple myeloma, is a key priority.
Cancer 52, an organisation which specifically represents patients with rarer cancers, was represented on the independent Cancer Taskforce. In July 2015, the Taskforce published its report, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020. It made many recommendations relevant to rarer and blood cancers, focussing in particular on improving access to diagnostic testing, including fast, direct general practitioner access to key blood tests, and increasing patient access to the most advanced treatments.
NHS England has well established structures and processes which ensure that the best possible treatments are commissioned across England for cancer, including both blood and rare cancers. NHS England obtains clinical advice about current and new treatments and clinical guidelines predominantly through clinical reference groups.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is developing guidelines for the treatment of multiple myeloma and these are currently subject to public consultation.
In addition, a multiple myeloma algorithm is in development, which will help clinicians and patients to prescribe the appropriate chemotherapy care at the optimum point of the care pathway.