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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Cancer patient wins drug appeal
Cancer sufferer John McNamara
The PCT said it had reassessed Mr McNamara's case
An NHS trust which refused to supply the drug Velcade to a terminal cancer sufferer has now granted the treatment after reassessing his case.

John McNamara, 47, from Harrogate, had been refused Velcade by North Yorkshire and York NHS Primary Care Trust.

He claimed other patients in the same Leeds hospital where he was receiving treatment were getting the drug and complained it was a "postcode lottery".

On Thursday, the PCT said it had decided to fund a course of Velcade.

'Lesson to learn'

A spokesman said Mr McNamara's case had been reassessed as part of an appeal process.

In a statement the PCT said: "The panel has concluded that, in this instance, the appeal will be upheld and the PCT will fund a course of Velcade.

"The panel was presented with significant additional information about the case, which was unavailable during the initial discussions, as well as a comprehensive re-appraisal of guidance on the use of this particular drug, which has been clarified this week.

"Future funding of this particular drug will still be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as is the situation with all treatments not routinely commissioned by the local NHS."

Mr McNamara's wife Caroline said: "It's been an absolute nightmare. I just don't want to go through anything like this ever again."

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Phil Willis, said he was delighted by the news.

He said: "However I hope that the PCT has learnt a lesson from this case; no more families should be forced to go through this hell to obtain treatment."

John McNamara on how he feels about the news

Patient anger at cancer 'lottery'
13 Aug 07 |  North Yorkshire
Velcade Three welcome NHS scheme
04 Jun 07 |  West Yorkshire

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