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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 20:07 GMT
Arthritis sufferer demands new treatment
Chris Warner
Mr Warner currently needs several treatments
A young Peterborough man who suffers from a form of arthritis is battling with a health authority to be prescribed a pioneering drug.

Chris Warner, 24, has ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which makes movement extremely painful and leaves him scarcely able to walk.

He believes he is being denied anti-TNF treatment because it costs 10,000 a year.

But South Peterborough Primary Care Trust has said money is not the only issue, and has cast doubt on whether the drug would be suitable for Mr Warner.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Anti-TNF treatment has been used in the UK since June 2000 to help people with rheumatoid arthritis.

It works by switching off the chemical TNF, or tumour necrosis factor, that causes the inflammation which leads to joint damage and destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.

But research has suggested it could also benefit patients with AS, a hereditary condition which causes progressive stiffening of the spine.

"It would just give me back my life," said Mr Warner.

"It would make me be able to live like a normal 24-year-old human being rather than feeling like I'm about 80 or 90 and I need to rely on everybody else."

South Peterborough Primary Care Trust said in a statement: "We do have concerns that anti-TNF treatment is not licensed to treat Mr Warner's condition."


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10 Jan 03 | England
22 Mar 02 | Health
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