High court ruling in breast cancer victim's fight for life

Herceptin high court ruling

21.02.2006

Mother of two, Ms Ann Marie Rogers of Haydon Wick, Swindon (53) has won the right to mount a High Court challenge against her local Primary Care Trust's (PCT) refusal to give her the breast cancer drug Herceptin at the High Court today. The case has now been put forward for a full hearing in February 2006 and is the first time that a decision by a PCT not to fund the drug has been taken to court. Mr Justice Charles also ruled that Swindon PCT should fund and provide her with Herceptin between now and the full hearing.

The legal challenge was launched against her local PCT by Ms Rogers' solicitors Irwin Mitchell who applied to the High Court for a judicial review of her case after she was denied Herceptin, despite her clinician recommending it.

The case was the first of a PCT being taken to court; all previous legal actions including the cases of Barbara Clark and Elaine Barber have resulted in the PCT reversing their position before judicial proceedings have taken place, following an appeal and threat of High Court action.

Breast cancer drug ruling

Yogi Amin, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors commented: "We are delighted with the outcome, and are pleased we will now be able to mount a full legal challenge. We will continue to take the case all the way through the legal process to ensure Ann Marie and other women in her situation have the right to the treatment their doctor has recommended. The system of how Herceptin is supplied to women needs to be given an overhaul; women should not have to fight for the right to this treatment" Mr Amin continued "The judge made clear that this was a case of general and public importance. This case will affect all health authorities across the country and all patients affected by a 'postcode lottery' of drug provision".

Ms Rogers commented: "I'm thrilled with the result, it has made my Christmas. I can now look forward to continuing my treatment, at least until the full hearing when I hope they will find that I should be given the complete course of treatment as prescribed by my doctor." Ms Rogers continued "Herceptin is expensive and I have funded the first two treatments myself, but I simply can not afford to pay for any more. I just want to be given the best chance possible of fighting breast cancer, which I will get with Herceptin."

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