Early Access success for Empower: Access to Medicine

13 April 2001, News

On Tuesday 25th March, Empower: Access to Medicine, the award winning campaign run by JBP, held a patient summit in the House of Commons.

Over a hundred patients, campaigners, families, MPs and Peers came together in Parliament to celebrate the Government’s commitment to an Early Access scheme, which Empower: Access to Medicine have been campaigning for since it was founded 18 months ago by its founder, Les Halpin.

Hosted by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP,  the event brought together a coalition of patient groups and featured key note speeches from the Health Minister, Earl Howe; GW Pharma Chairman, Geoffrey Guy; Emily Crossley, Alex Johnson and Ruth Le Gal, whose children suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; and George Freeman MP, the Government’s former life sciences adviser.

Claire Halpin, Les’ wife, said of the event: “Especially I would like to thank Jennifer Bryant-Pearson and the rest of the team at JBP who organised the event; Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who hosted it; and the inspiring and moving speakers who took part. It was a fantastic event, and one that Les would have enjoyed immensely – I am just a little sad that he wasn’t able to be there.”

Amongst the high profile supporters who attended on the day, including England Rugby’s Andy Farrell, Empower were sent these encouraging words from Professor Stephen Hawkin: “Though I cannot be here with you today I wanted to convey my support for Empower: Access to Medicine and its calls for accelerated access to potentially lifesaving drugs. The time has come for medical regulation to match modern medicine. I encourage you to sign Empower’s petition, let’s practically demonstrate that the system can work differently. I wish you every success and good luck.

The Empower campaign will continue to campaign to ensure the Early Access scheme meets the needs of patients and is part of wider changes that are required to ensure that patients have access to the drugs and treatment they need.

JBP Staff Member

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