Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Cancer patient in drug campaign

Alan Jones
Mr Jones says he has collected more than 10,000 signatures

A Doncaster man with cancer who is campaigning to be given a drug which he believes could extend his life is taking his fight to Downing Street.

Alan Jones, 63, says he has been refused the drug Cetuximab on the NHS because of funding constraints at his primary care trust.

NHS Doncaster said the decision not to routinely fund the drug had been taken for "clinical reasons".

Mr Jones will hand in a petition of signatures to 10 Downing Street.

NHS Doncaster said Mr Jones's case would be considered by its funding request panel on Friday to see if there were any "exceptional circumstances".

He said he had 6,000 written signatures and a further 5,000 on a group his family has set up on the social networking site Facebook.

He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2007 and had his bowel removed a month later.

It's like having the winning lottery ticket and then someone taking it away from you
Alan Jones

In December 2007 he had part of his liver removed, but three months later the cancer returned.

The former bus driver, who will hand in the petition on Wednesday, said he now had six tumours on his liver.

He said other patients had been prescribed Cetuximab in Doncaster in the past but his doctors were told not to apply because it was no longer available to people in his position.

"It's like having the winning lottery ticket and then someone taking it away from you," he said.

Funding procedure

"A lot of people have benefited from this treatment. Sometimes it has prolonged their life by a couple of weeks, but sometimes it has prolonged their life by over two years."

Dr Rupert Suckling, deputy director of public health at NHS Doncaster, said: "In the last two weeks we have received a request to consider this case and we will follow our individual funding request procedure."

An NHS Doncaster spokesman added: "The primary care trusts across this part of the country have a policy not to fund Cetuximab routinely.

"This was a decision that has been taken for clinical reasons.

"Mr Jones's case will be discussed on 18 December with a view to see if there are any exceptional circumstances outside the policy."

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