September 11, 2008
Drug Fight Patient Wins Right to Live
By EMILY COOK
A CANCER patient with just a few months to live won his High Court fight yesterday to get a life-prolonging drug.Colin Ross, 55 - who has incurable bone-marrow cancer - had been refused pounds 5,000-a-course Revlimid by his health trust on cost grounds.
But Judge Simon Grenfell yesterday overruled its decision and said the case should be treated as "exceptional".
Colin was too ill to attend the hearing and had to watch the aftermath on TV. But long-term companion and carer Wendy Forbes- Newbegin, 52, sobbed outside court: "I just hope it has not come too late for Colin. The anguish we've been through has at times been unbearable and unacceptable."
West Sussex PCT said the efficacy of Revlimid, which can extend life up to three years, is dubious despite it being funded by other PCTs. The case intensifies the controversy over the postcode lottery for NHS treatments.
Judge Grenfell issued an emergency order so Colin, of Horsham, can begin treatment today.
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