A final guidance, recommending pemetrexed disodium (Alimta) as a treatment option for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), has been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
It recommends the treatment for people with MPM who are considered to have the disease at an advanced stage and for whom surgical procedures is considered inappropriate.
The guidance was produced by NICE after it emerged that there was uncertainty regarding its role in the treatment of mesothelioma.
All interested parties were given the opportunity to challenge the decision and the process allowed for appeals against draft recommendations.
Adrian Budgen, a Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell commented: "This long-awaited ruling ends years of uncertainty for mesothelioma sufferers and means that access to, what many leading experts consider to be, the best chemotherapy treatment, should no longer be a battle for mesothelioma patients.
"Until now, only a small number of sufferers have qualified for Alimta (in certain parts of the country, eg London and the North-West) so there has been a deeply regrettable postcode lottery in existence. Although it is far from being a cure, the patients who respond well to this treatment will have a better quality of life and that can only be a good thing."