Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Drug plea

Three women from Keighley have condemned reports that a life-prolonging cancer drug will not be made available in England.
Janice Wrigglesworth, Jacky Pickles and Marie Morton all suffer from bone cancer and have been campaigning to receive the drug Velcade. But a leaked ruling by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence says although the drug is more clinically effective than chemotherapy, it isn't cost effective.

The trio are today launching a new website in a bid to highlight their fight.Velcade is the first new treatment for the cancer in more than 10 years and has been licensed for more than two years for patients who have relapsed.

The drug is available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and throughout the rest of Europe.

"It is allowing me to live and see the things I want to see. It gives me hope that I will live longer and see my 22-year-old son Sean settled" said Jacky Pickles
Nice, which regulates primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and Wales, is expected to stick to its ruling at a final appraisal committee meeting next week.

Mrs Pickles, 44, met Mrs Wrigglesworth, 59, and Mrs Morton, 57, while having cancer treatment.
She said: "We are looking into legal aid at the moment. We cannot afford to pay for this ourselves, but we cannot just sit and watch Nice take our future away. We will take this all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if we need to."

Mrs Pickles, a midwifery sister at Bradford Royal Infirmary, was diagnosed with the disease five years ago.

She has undergone chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and a course of thalidomide, the drug that caused birth defects in the 1960s, but which has been relaunched as a myeloma treatment.

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