Monday, 25 February 2008

Postcode lottery misery for cancer sufferer

A VICTIM of a drugs postcode lottery has pleaded with health chiefs to pay for treatment which doctors say would prolong his life.

Cancer patient Jeff Hildreth is battling to stay alive to help his wife who has also suffered an aggressive form of the disease.

Despite appeals by his consultants and GP, Leeds Primary Care Trust (PCT) has refused to fund the drug lenalidomide, also known by its trade name Revlimid.

He knows other patients also treated in Leeds, but who he understands live outside the city, do get the drug. Mr Hildreth said Leeds PCT have told his doctors that the drug – which costs about £4,000 a month – is too expensive.

"It's like being on death row," said Mr Hildreth, of Yeadon. "We feel betrayed and bitter. What energy you have, what resources you can drag out of your body, you are spending fighting for treatment."