LloydsPharmacy introduces new injection in healthcare centres to reduce treatment time for breast cancer patients by 93%

A new injection that dramatically reduces treatment time for women with HER2 positive breast cancer, is now being administered to patients in LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centres in Cardiff and Newcastle.

Working with local NHS Trusts, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare is one of the first healthcare providers to be administering the recently approved Phesgo injection in a community-based setting, helping to bring care closer to home for metastatic breast cancer patients and significantly reduce treatment time.

Sarah Rickels, Head of Nursing at LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare, said:

“We are continually looking for meaningful ways that we can improve patient care to give people going through cancer treatment as greater sense of normality as possible. By offering Phesgo outside of a hospital environment, we are helping to give patients more time to do the things they want to be doing. But as well as benefiting them, this more efficient treatment also has a huge impact on NHS Trusts, giving their clinicians up to 240 hours of time back for each patient who can receive treatment via this method.”

The new breast cancer treatment, which is administered by a LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare oncology nurse, was initially introduced at the LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre in Cardiff, which is a partnership between Velindre Cancer Centre and Tenovus Cancer Care, on 22nd April. It is now also available at the LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre in Newcastle, with Royal Surrey and Scunthorpe clinics launching in the coming months.

Deborah Jones, one of the first patients to receive Phesgo from the LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre in Newcastle, commented:

“While the experience at the hospital was very friendly and I am grateful to them all, coming to Lloyds has been brilliant. My treatment has been very difficult in the past. Having repeated IV treatment has meant my veins are very poor, and getting my treatment became more and more painful. At the clinic I was delighted at the explanations and well prepared for the injection. The biggest thing for me is that the appointment is so quick and yet the method of delivery of the injection so much slower which means less pain and distress. I can see how so many women would benefit from receiving this treatment at a LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre”.

The Phesgo injection, developed by manufacturer Roche, is a newly combined remedy of Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Herceptin (trastuzumab) with hyaluronidase. Previously given as separate intravenous infusions, it is now being delivered as a single subcutaneous injection into a patient’s thigh in combination with intravenous chemotherapy.

Claire Hall, another patient now receiving this treatment at the LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre in Newcastle, said:

“My employer does not pay me when I attend appointments for my treatment. Coming here is going to have a huge impact on my income as in the past I have had to take a whole day off work due to the length of wait at the hospital. I can now come late in the day after work and still have a better quality of life. I love this opportunity. Thank you.”

Women living with HER2 positive breast cancer normally receive 48 cycles of treatment every three weeks. Previously they would have been required to travel to hospital and spend two to five-hours there per cycle. Now, eligible patients can safely receive treatment in 20 minutes at a LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centre, reducing their overall treatment time by 93.4%.

Rhiannon Walter-Davies, Principal Pharmacist at Velindre Cancer Centre said:

“We are always exploring ways in which we can widen and improve cancer treatment options for our current and future patients and our partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare supports us in that vision. For more people than ever, cancer has become a long-term condition rather than an acute disease, and our priority is to provide safe and effective care whilst ensuring patient choice is at the heart of our service. So many of our patients have already benefited from receiving care closer to home and we look forward to many more experiencing improved health outcomes now that we are able to administer this innovative new injection in a community-based setting.”

Sarah Rickels adds:

“As nurses, we see first-hand the toll going through regular cancer treatment can take on some patients. Through our healthcare centre concept, we set out to transform how and where care is delivered to give patients greater choice, control and convenience. Phesgo now takes that one step further by offering a quicker and kinder treatment method. With cancer waiting times currently at record levels because of COVID-19, we hope more NHS Trusts will see the benefits of this type of service model. Meanwhile, we will continue to invest in innovative practices and forge partnerships that help to put patient care at the forefront.”

The introduction of Phesgo follows a new partnership with digital cancer care platform, Careology, which launched in February of this year. The partnership is the first of its kind and enables clinicians, oncology nurses and carers to remotely monitor patients using a ground-breaking app to enhance how cancer care is delivered in the home.