My Comment: I reblogged this from New Jerusalem Coming, a sister in Christ who is making a stand and asking for fellow Bloggers to do the same. I did a little research on this drug, and it is due to be approved in early 2014. (Read more) Why they are denying early access I don’t know. It appears they have had this since 2008. Click the link below to sign a petition for Denise. I am also holding this woman and her family in my prayers.
My mom, Yu “Denise” Deng, has been fighting gastric cancer for three years. She is only 52 and has endured 10+ surgeries, multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and throughout it all has managed to maintain her spirit and beautiful warm smile. It has been unimaginably difficult and we are at a point where all but one viable option have been exhausted. The last option is new immunotherapy drug called Ramucirumab, but Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, is refusing her access to the drug.
Ramucirumab been proven to increase the likelihood of survival for late stage gastric cancer patients. It has gone through extensive clinical trials and is in the final stage of approval by the FDA. Unfortunately, the drug isn\’t expected to be approved until after April 2014 and lag time for distribution will further delay access to the drug. I\’m afraid my mom may not have that much time.
The FDA has programs for exactly these types of situations (Expanded access), but the decision to provide the drug rests wholly on the pharmaceutical company. Eli Lilly has stated that they do not, nor do they plan to, have an expanded use program for Ramucirumab. The rep I spoke with said “because the drug is expected to be approved in 4-6 months, Eli Lilly has chosen not to provide the drug through a compassionate use program at this time.” In other words, the drug is going to be approved quickly, so they don’t see the need to create a special program for just a few patients.
My mom isn’t the only patient whose life depends on quick access to this drug. I know many more patients in Texas. Imagine how many more there are in the US or the world.