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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
Trust agrees to give cancer drug
A primary care trust has now agreed to give a drug treatment to a Lincolnshire kidney cancer patient, which he had been forced to pay for himself.

John Harford, 63, from Thorpe on the Hill, said he was paying 3,600 a month for the drug Sutent but his savings were running low.

Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust had refused to pay, saying it was a new prescription and not routinely funded.

The trust has now agreed to supply it for three months following an appeal.

Tumour removed

Mr Harford and his wife Helen who had appealed to the Exceptional Case Committee, said they were delighted with the news.

They said they had been worried about the future as they were running out of money to pay for the Sutent.

Mr Harford was diagnosed with kidney cancer a year ago.

He said: "I am able to live a more or less normal life - it is a wonder drug.

"I have a bit of savings and can pay for the Sutent for now - but for patients who do not have savings - as far as the NHS is concerned they are going to die."

The couple had to pay 9,000 for a private operation to remove a tumour associated with the cancer.

They had the private surgery after two scheduled NHS operations were cancelled because of a shortage of intensive-care beds in Lincoln.

The trust said in a statement it had never prescribed Sutent, but always considered each request on a patient-by-patient basis, based on the published evidence of effectiveness and cost.

Cancer patient family's drug plea
18 Apr 07 |  Lincolnshire
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22 Sep 02 |  Health

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