Merck’s cancer drug sees first ever early access nod

Merck’s skin cancer drug Keytruda has become the first drug to be approved through the new Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS).

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been fast-tracked to patients via the system which aims to give people with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions access to medicines that do not yet have marketing authorisation.

The treatment works by making cancer cells ‘visible’ to the immune system so they can be destroyed by the body’s natural defence mechanisms. Clinical trials have shown improvement in the prognosis for patients with advanced melanoma when treated with the drug.

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