Today, not everyone has the same access to the expert treatment, care and support they need throughout their transplant journey.
And as new treatments emerge, we want to make sure all patients who can benefit have access to these too. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined existing health inequalities, including those faced by people from minority ethnic backgrounds, many of which can affect their experiences and outcomes.
That’s not ok.
That’s why we’re working hard to understand the scale, and the nature, of the problem. We’re also working across Anthony Nolan to:
- Diversify the register with more donors from minority ethnic backgrounds
- Promote the use of cord stem cells as an alternative treatment
- Work with international registers to broaden the pool of potential donors
- Support new treatment alternatives
To do all this, it’s vital for us to understand the barriers many patients face accessing the treatment and care they need.
That’s why we’re conducting research to help us further our understanding of equity of access. As the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation, we’ve launched an inquiry into the barriers different patients face because of their background. Among other factors, this includes their ethnicity, socio-economic status and where they live in the country.
Our Policy and Public Affairs team works with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is responsible for providing guidance on treatments and health technologies for the NHS.
We provide evidence of patient experiences and views to NICE and attend Committee hearings to explain the impact potential treatments could have for patients. Ensuring the patient voice is heard in discussions, we help influence which drugs and treatments are both effective – and cost-effective – for the NHS to use.
That way, patients can access the different methods of care they need.
What does it look like in practice?
In this blog, we explain the role we played in a Health Technology Appraisal for treosulfan, a drug used in the pre-transplant conditioning of patients.
Here, we share how we influenced the Health Technology Appraisal regarding letermovir, a drug used to prevent serious illness from the CMV virus in stem cell transplant patients.