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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
Velcade Three welcome NHS scheme
Janice Wrigglesworth
Janice Wrigglesworth is one of the women fighting for the drug
Three women who launched a legal battle in a bid to receive a life-extending bone marrow cancer drug have welcomed a new scheme to make it more available.

The so-called Velcade Three, Janice Wrigglesworth, Jacky Pickles and Marie Morton, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, said they were "elated" by the news.

A watchdog has endorsed a new scheme under which bone marrow-cancer drug Velcade will be available on the NHS.

The drug's manufacturers will refund the NHS if a patient does not respond.

'Not a cure'

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said the NHS should pay for the drug, which costs about 18,000 per patient, only when it worked.

Drug manufacturer Janssen-Cilag proposed the scheme, which is the first of its kind.

Ms Wrigglesworth told the BBC: "We know it is not a miracle cure or anything like that but what we are looking at is that it is going to give us a longer length of time to spend with our families, which is vital to us.

"Also it is not just the time, it is the quality of life that is important as well and we believe this will give us that.

"There are times when . . . we have been quite down but then when the drug company told us that they had made this offer, that buoyed us up tremendously.

"They are putting their money where their mouth is."

Fight for cancer drug continues
20 Oct 06 |  Bradford
Women's legal bid for cancer drug
28 Aug 06 |  Bradford

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