Page last updated at 06:43 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 07:43 UK

Donation hope for cancer patient

Jean Murphy
Jean Murphy had taken her case to the High Court

A terminally ill woman who has been refused a kidney cancer drug on the NHS can start taking the medication after a mystery benefactor donated money.

Jean Murphy, 63, from Salford, went to court after Salford Primary Care Trust refused to pay for the drug Sutent.

The High Court told the trust to reconsider its decision, but last week it was refused for a third time.

A donor has given Mrs Murphy 10,000 for her to buy the drugs, which she plans to start taking straight away.

Last week Mrs Murphy's husband had said he would stop taking his medication for Crohn's disease, a heart condition and diabetes, if his wife, his main carer, could not have the drug.

Clinical trials

Chief executive of Salford PCT, Dr Mike Burrows, said the refusal was made after "significant consideration".

He said in a statement: "A process review panel took place at the request of Mrs Murphy and her legal advisers.

"After significant consideration the review panel upheld the decision of the commissioning panel not to fund the drug Sutent for Mrs Murphy."

The drug is available on the NHS to patients in Cheshire and Merseyside, but not Greater Manchester as it has not been approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

People in Greater Manchester can only receive it through clinical trials and Mrs Murphy did not fit the criteria.

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