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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 12:26 GMT
Woman's anger over cancer drug
Avastin
The drug is not available on the NHS
A Worcester woman who paid 10,000 for a cancer drug has called for it to be made available by the NHS.

Barbara Moss, 53, was given three months to live in November 2006 but doctors now say she has a 40% chance of survival after taking Avastin.

She paid for the drug using her pension and money from her elderly mother.

The bowel cancer sufferer now needs another course but the drug is not approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

Nice says that while the drug does make tumours smaller it does not extend life by long enough to make it cost effective.

'Totally unfair'

It is available in private hospitals and around the UK but not the NHS.

Mrs Moss, a retired teacher, said: "For the first time really in 14 months I'm starting to look forward again and feeling very positive about my outlook on life.

"It's going to be a further four treatments, I'm having my second treatment this week and it will cost the same again.

"Having had such exceptional results in the first case we asked the PCT again to fund the drug and because it's a drug that's quite expensive they've just thrown that out.

"All my medical staff have said I'm an exceptional patient and it's only the PCT that has said they don't think I am."

She added that, because she had opted to pay for Avastin herself, she was no longer entitled to other treatment normally paid for on the NHS.

'Decent thing'

She said: "That is really what makes it totally unfair.

"This treatment has been fantastic for me and should be available for everybody if you cannot pay for it."

Ian Beaumont, spokesman for the charity Bowel Cancer UK, said: ?It is simply wrong that Worcester Primary Care Trust is refusing to refund Barbara Moss for the drug Avastin when she has responded so well to it.

"Barbara and her family have made many sacrifices to pay for her treatment and combat bowel cancer and I hope that the PCT now does the decent thing and refunds her.?

Worcestershire Primary Care Trust said it did not comment on individual cases.

SEE ALSO
Cancer woman threatens to sue NHS
07 Jan 08 |  Cornwall

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