In the past, any medication used to treat cancer was regarded as chemotherapy. However, over the last 20 years, new types of medication that work in a different way to chemotherapy have been introduced.
These new types of medication are known as targeted/biological therapies. This is because they are designed to target and disrupt one or more of the biological processes that cancerous cells use to grow and reproduce. In contrast, chemotherapy medications are designed to have a poisonous effect on cancerous cells.
Targeted/biological therapies, when used for their European Medicines Agency (EMA) therapeutic indication, are covered by WPA, when these are not readily available to you as an NHS patient (but some group schemes may vary).
If you visit your Cancer Specialist and are prescribed one of these targeted drugs, your Oncologist will be able to advise you of their availability on the NHS or the Cancer Drugs Fund (England). You can check whether your drug treatment is licensed by EMA for your cancer on www.ema.europa.eu and/or the NHS status of your drug on www.nice.org.uk, www.england.nhs.uk or www.scottishmedicines.org.uk - however we will be happy to advise you on your specific case.
We have provided a list of brand and generic names of commonly used targeted/biological therapies below; however, if you are not sure whether your treatment includes a targeted/biological therapy please contact us.
If you have any questions regarding the provision of benefit for any aspects of your treatment, please contact us to discuss the benefit that can be provided prior to any treatment commencing.
Please click here for examples of the Cancer Care available through WPA Policies.
Please click here for WPA´s current oncology schedule.
Last updated: 01/07/2017
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