Dying man refused cancer drug to prolong his life and ease his suffering

Tarceva drug

08.05.2006

A Lancashire man who challenged his Primary Care Trusts (PCT) decision not to give him the Tarceva drug his doctor has prescribed for him, has been refused it a second time on appeal by the PCT. Research suggests that the drug Tarceva would prolong his life and ease the symptoms he is suffering as a result of lung cancer.

 

Tarceva drug denial

Paul Bould (51) of Morecambe, Lancashire was originally told by his local PCT that they would not fund the drug Tarceva which his specialist had prescribed when he was given only months to live. The drug Tarceva has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of lung cancer and can prolong a patients life. The treatment costs £1500 a month and it is this cost that the PCT is refusing to pay.

Mr Bould learnt on Friday that the new panel put together by the PCT to reconsider the original decision upheld the original decision and claimed that it could not afford to fund the drug for Mr Bould. It is believed to be the first time that a refusal for an essential Cancer drug has been overtly refused on financial grounds. The committee had been forced to reconvene in light of fresh evidence provided by independent oncologists and a threat of legal action from the law firm that successfully fought for a patients right to be given the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

 

Tarceva cancer drug solicitor

Paul Bould's solicitor Yogi Amin, of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented Ann Marie Rogers in her successful fight for the drug Herceptin, said "We have supplied the PCT with strong evidence for the effectiveness of the drug from Dr Jeremy Steele, an independent and leading Oncologist."

"We have argued that this drug will alleviate the symptoms Mr Bould suffers from and may prolong his life for up to four months. We are dismayed that the PCT will not support their own doctor's decision, funding what the health professional wants to prescribe."

Mr Amin continued "We have argued strongly that the PCT should agree to provide this urgent life prolonging cancer treatment for Mr Bould. If it ds not back down and give Mr Bould this drug we will go to the High Court for a judicial review challenge against this decision"

Mr Bould has been given only months to live. He is at the final stages of cancer. There are no alternative treatments. He would like to have a few more months to live so that he can spend more time with his family and do some of the things he has always wished he could do in his life.

Tarceva is licensed by the EMEA. The drug is awaiting appraisal from the NICE.

Do you have a claim? If you or someone you know has been effected by a similar case of being denied drugs for treatment, our solicitors can help. Visit our public law section.