I don’t take any pleasure in having to follow-up letters that haven’t been replied to, especially letters about something so important. I also dislike having to copy senior people in to force a reply out of someone, it feels childish and wastes time.

But, I’m left with no other option. The letter speaks for itself and I’ve linked PDFs to the two letters that have gone unanswered. I hope that this provokes a dialogue that reassures patients about the generic process. Thanks, Kris


Dr Jonathan Fielden
Director of Specialised Commissioning – NHS England

17th March 2017

Dear Dr Fielden,

RE: Imatinib – your reference JF 16-1201.1

Sorry to have to write again but it has been a month since I asked for a swift response to my letter dated 16th February 2017. I should also note that the reason I sent the letter in February is because I didn’t receive a reply to the letter dated 21st December 2016.

I am concerned by your lack of communication and so are the CML patients that I represent, numbering around 2,000. I have copied the Secretary of State for Health, the Chief Executive of NHS England and my local MP who I hope will encourage you into dialogue with me. I have attached my previous communication and if need be my local MP, Mark Garnier, will vouch for my credibility, he is aware of my advocacy and has been incredibly supportive over the years.

At a time when you are expecting blood cancer patients to make significant changes to their treatment, I am appalled by the lack of communication and care that has been shown. I hope that we can kick-start this relationship and give CML patients some reassurances that their questions and concerns are being taken seriously and explored. Given the amount of money that the switch to generics will save the NHS, it is surely the very least that can be done.

With stretched budgets, patient advocates and charities are under increasing pressure to fill gaps. I am proud to represent my fellow patients and I will not stand by and be done unto and I will not go away. We are a ground-breaking bunch of cancer survivors and I expect to be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect by NHS England that we are shown at all other touchpoints within the NHS.

I’m sure you appreciate how important it is for patients to have faith in the system, I look forward to answers in full for all my questions including this addition to my previous letter.

  1. Some patients are reporting that consultants aren’t fully briefed on the switch. What measures have been put in place to ensure information has been disseminated and how is the data from new side-effects being monitored and centrally collated? Some patients are reporting new and different side-effects after switching.

The concerns I had in my previous letter still stand; the process that brought generic imatinib to market is flawed and this is now being realised. I hope that you can provide the reassurances that are needed.

Yours sincerely,

Kris Griffin (Mr)

CC: Secretary of State for Health, The Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP
CC: Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens
CC: MP for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier
CC: CML-UK Facebook Group
CC: CML-Worldwide Facebook Group
CC: Access CML Drugs blog


Letter to Dr Fielden dated 21st December 2016 – PDF
Letter to Dr Fielden dated 16th February 2017 – PDF