Withdrawal of ‘lifeline’ lung cancer drug to be debated in House of Lords

Ulster Unionist peer Lord Rogan has secured a short debate on the floor of the House of Lords next week (Wednesday, February 14) following the announcement that Takeda Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily withdrawing the drug Mobocertinib for the UK market despite it being a critical lifeline for EGFR positive lung cancer patients.
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Mobocertinib is currently the only drug in the UK licensed for use by patients with Exon 20, a rare subtype of EGFR positive lung cancer also known as non-smoking lung cancer.

Lord Rogan is supporting a call from charity EGFR Positive UK to delay the withdrawal of Mobocertinib until an alternative drug is available for patients who rely on it.

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He said: “I have raised this issue directly with the UK Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins, and look forward to the matter being debated in full public view in the House of Lords.

Lord Rogan.Lord Rogan.
Lord Rogan.

“Removing Mobocertinib from the UK market will mean that Exon 20 patients have no treatment options beyond chemotherapy, which will inevitably reduce lifespans and increase mortality rates.

“The withdrawal of Mobocertinib is purely based on the fact that the drug failed to meet its clinical endpoint in a recent trial. It is not being withdrawn due to safety concerns, and indeed, no new safety concerns have arisen since the drug received its initial licence.

“The announcement has understandably led to significant distress amongst Exon 20 patients.

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“I will be urging the Government to do everything in its power to delay in the withdrawal of Mobocertinib from the UK until an alternative drug is made available.”

Natasha Loveridge, EGFR Positive UK Trustee, said: “We are delighted that this issue is to be raised in Parliament and thank Lord Rogan for his persistence in securing the debate.

“As a fit and healthy non-smoker, I was utterly shocked when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 EGFR positive lung cancer.

“Mobocertinib is literally a lifeline for Exon 20 patients. To remove it from the UK without an alternative in place would be both immoral and wrong.

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“It is our sincere hope that the debate in the House of Lords will help the Government to see sense by instigating a ‘compassionate use’ policy for all Exon 20 patients - including those who are yet to take the drug - that will serve as a pathway to accessing the drug while waiting for an alternative.

“We also suggest that this pathway should be open to patients who are already on Mobocertinib at the time of withdrawal, and also available to those who have not yet been prescribed it but who are likely to benefit from the drug.”