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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 December 2007, 18:23 GMT
Man wins battle for cancer drug
Tony Lloyd
Mr Lloyd's cancer is spreading
An East Yorkshire man is celebrating after being granted access to a cancer drug he believes will prolong his life.

Tony Lloyd, from Thorngumbald, near Hull, is fighting bowel cancer which has now spread to his liver.

Conventional treatments are no longer working, and his doctor requested he be allowed to take the drug cetuximab.

His local health trust had refused to pay for the drug, because it had not been approved by the government's drug watchdog but has reversed its decision.

After reviewing Mr Lloyd's case, East Riding of Yorkshire PCT has struck a deal with the firm which makes the drug.

'Best present'

Mr Lloyd told BBC Look North: "The PCT have agreed that I am going to get the drug. If it works, they will fund it. If it doesn't work, the manufacturers have agreed that they will withstand the cost.

"I can't ask for anything more.

"It's the best Christmas present I could have had."

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) ruled earlier this year that cetuximab was not cost-effective.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, with 35,000 people newly-diagnosed every year.

Cetuximab, which costs about 700 a week, has been shown to shrink tumours allowing the possibility of surgery, but is not a cure.

Ian Beaumont, from Bowel Cancer UK, said: "It can extend life and increase quality of life so it's a very important drug for a lot of patients because it can make them feel better and live longer."

SEE ALSO
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