Dad Appeals After NHS Denies Drug

Man Denied Chemotherapy Drug Avastin


A father with a terminal brain tumour is planning to launch an appeal after his local NHS refused to fund drugs that could allow him to live longer.

David Gladwin, 37, a builder from Mapplewell, Barnsley, was told by a consultant at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield that he had an inoperable tumour, but that chemotherapy drug Avastin could extend his life.

However, NHS Barnsley turned down his request because the drug is not licensed for the treatment of brain tumours in this country.

It said there is not enough medical evidence of its effectiveness, despite the fact that the drug, which costs £55,000 for one year, has been used on patients in other parts of Britain.

The trust said it will only make an exception to the rules if the patient is 'significantly different' to others with the same condition and is likely to receive 'significantly more benefit' from the medication than would normally be expected.

Mr Gladwin, who has a daughter aged two and a stepdaughter aged six, was diagnosed with a recurrent glioma tumour eight years ago.

Since then he has had several treatments to control the disease, including brain surgery, chemotherapy, and two bouts of radiotherapy, but it is now untreatable.

Experts cannot estimate how long he will live, but his condition is terminal without treatment.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Yogi Amin from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “It could be held to be unlawful for a PCT to withhold life saving or life prolonging treatment where the patient’s doctor is prescribing and supporting it.”