The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Cancer immunotherapy medicine to be made available for free

Albert Galea Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 13:42 Last update: about 4 months ago

A new set of cancer immunotherapy medicine is to be made available for free by the government as part of its five-year national cancer plan, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, Fearne said that €3 million will be spent by the government on this type of medicine which removes the capacity of cancer cells to escape the body’s immune system so that it is available to cancer patients for free.

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50 patients will immediately have this medicine available to them, with this number rising in the coming months.

This takes the amount of money that the government has spent in acquiring new types of cancer medicine up to €17.5 million since the aforementioned national plan was launched in October 2017.

Fearne said that since then, the fruits of the plan were already being felt.  He said that a campaign emphasising a healthier lifestyle for the prevention of cancer was passing through every locality in Malta and Gozo with the collaboration of local councils and public health doctors. He said that the number of people doing screenings for various types of cancer had also increased.

He said that services for patients already suffering from cancer had also increased, with 390 cancer patients now being in the hands of specialised nurse navigators who handled their treatment and services in the most efficient and timely manner.

 

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