Drug fight up for review

PUBLISHED: 12:38 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:40 15 June 2010

DEVON Primary Care Trust's Individual Patient Funding Panel understands that seriously ill people will look for any hope of new treatment.

DEVON Primary Care Trust's Individual Patient Funding Panel understands that seriously ill people will look for any hope of new treatment.But the panel's deputy chairman John Finn says: "However, it is important we ensure that any new drugs and treatments have been shown to significantly help patients and also be affordable before we approve them for use."He was speaking following the Herald's report last week about cancer victim Leslie Thompson-Talbot, 58, who has been refused the life-prolonging drug Sunitinib. The PCT's review panel is to reconsider the case in the near future. Mr Finn said that each request is considered on an individual basis.But Dr Srinivasin, of the Exeter Oncology Centre, said: "Sunitinib is a useful treatment, which is licensed, and therefore deemed safe. Everybody agrees it works. "It buys a person extra time and, especially if they are young, you can't really say no." Sunitinib has not been formally approved by NICE.

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