August 9, 2008

Anger Over Cancer Drug Denial

TWO cancer sufferers from Warwickshire have been left angered by a national medical board's decision not to fund a life-lengthening wonder drug.

As featured in the Telegraph, Ade Cure, from Wellesbourne, and Colin Howe, from Rugby, are both dying of kidney cancer.

But PCTs in Warwickshire and Coventry won't routinely prescribe the life-prolonging drug Sutent to sufferers of kidney and gastrointestinal cancer.

Their decision was backed on Thursday by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

They deemed that four treatments for advanced kidney cancer patients, including Sutent, should not be prescribed because they did not represent value for money.

Mr Cure, who lives in Lowes Lane, was told by doctors in March last year that he had up to a year to live, but that the drug Sutent could enable him to live longer.

The 49-year-old dad of three has since been enjoying a new lease of life after researchers at Wolverhampton New Cross Hospital invited him to join a privatelyfunded trial which includes the use of the treatment.

Mr Howe and his family were devastated when at 45 he was given just 12 months to live.

That was nearly three years ago.

The father of two, of Gentian Way, was one of only two sufferers allowed to have Sutent prescribed by the PCT, due to "exceptional circumstances".

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