News & Media

Government yet to make good on Pembro Promises

10 January 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said that the Government has yet to provide State-funded access to the drug Pembro despite making promises to Cervical Cancer patients over six weeks ago. 

Deputy Kelly said:

“Despite promises made by Minister Simon Harris in early December that all women with cervical cancer who are eligible for the drug Pembro would receive State-funded access to the drug, this has yet to come to fruition.

“Minister Harris’ promise to these women and their families that they would no longer bear the costs associated with these drug gave women a huge boost before Christmas. The fact that this has yet to be delivered is is extremely worrying.

“The State is already fronting the costs of Pembro for women who are at the centre of the CervicalCheck scandal, by not providing Pembro to cervical cancer sufferers with the same equal treatment, means that the State is essentially ‘playing God’ with women’s lives.

“In December we heard stories of women fundraising for this drug. The fact that over 6 weeks later, these women are still having to fundraise is completely unacceptable.

“The legal, medical and moral argument made by women like Vicky Phelan, Tracey Brennan and Áine Morgan has already been won, now the Minister needs to put his money where his mouth is and give women and their families certainty as to when they will receive this drug as unfortunately many of these women do not have time to wait.”