A TERMINALLY ill cancer sufferer needs £3,000-a-month to fund drugs proven to extend life after being refused them on the NHS.
Kevin Boland, 61, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last January but decided not to ask how long doctors estimated he had left.
Instead he agreed to a 'stampede trial' - in which he was given a number of treatments, including a drug called Abiraterone, in an attempt to slow the cancer growth.
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Mr Boland, who never had a day off work before his diagnosis, said the NHS is now refusing to allow his a further course of Abiraterone or the recently approved Enzalutamide, which is said to extend life by at least five months.
However, a spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said there is little evidence that Enzalutamide is effective in those patients who have previously taken Abiraterone.
He added that in some cases, patients who have taken both drugs did not always benefit from the second treatment.
Mr Boland, of Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, has been told his only option is to pay £3,000 a month for Enzalutimide, money he says he does not have.
“All I want is a chance to live,” he said. “I don’t know why I am being refused but I don’t have any other options. I can’t just go to another shop. If I needed surgery I would get it but I am not being allowed these drugs.
“I have not got years so I just want to be as good as I can be.”
Wife Anne, 59, said: “Why are they making all these drugs if people are not allowed them. His test results have proved he responds to them and he feels so much better.”
Relative Jemma Warburton is holding a fancy dress competition and fundraising night at Coundon Social Club on Saturday, August 16. Tickets are £5 and are available on 07785-706876.
A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which is commissioned by NHS England to provide chemotherapy services on its behalf, said: “NHS England decides, taking into account the clinical and cost effectiveness data and expert opinion, which chemotherapy treatments should be made available to patients both through normal NHS funding mechanisms and through the Cancer Drugs Fund.
“Where a patient’s treatment is not routinely commissioned by NHS England, clinicians can apply for individual funding to the Cancer Drugs Fund where there is a case of exceptionality.
“The Cancer Drugs Fund has a policy that Enzalutamide cannot be used following previous treatment with Abiraterone.
“The reason for this policy is that there is very little evidence that Enzalutamide will be effective for patients who have previously received Abiraterone. The main clinical trial for Enzalutamide did not include patients who had previously had Abiraterone.”