End of postcode lottery will be too late for Alan

PUBLISHED: 09:36 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 15 June 2010

A CANCER sufferer in Seaton fears he will die before the bid to end postcode lottery comes into effect. Alan Appleby, of Honey Ditches Drive, also branded the move in which all patients will have the right to approved drugs as a smokescreen in which they

A CANCER sufferer in Seaton fears he will die before the bid to end postcode lottery comes into effect.Alan Appleby, of Honey Ditches Drive, also branded the move in which all patients will have the right to approved drugs as a smokescreen in which they will merely be denied treatment by another body.If medicines are clinically appropriate then local primary care trusts must fund them.However, they must be approved by the National Insititue for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which evaluates drugs and devices for cost effectiveness and Mr Appleby feels this will be an even bigger challenge."It's a smoke screen in many ways. It makes NICE the gate-holders for care rather than the PCT and they're more difficult to deal with," he said."It dampens public discontent about the supply of drugs, but NICE's track record for approving drugs is appalling. There's simply not enough money in the pot."And altering the postcode lottery will not happen overnight. The cash for PCTs has already been allocated and will take months to unscramble, by which time people like me are going to die."Nothing is going to change until public pressure becomes so overwhelming that the government has to yield to it."Fellow cancer sufferer, Leslie Thompson-Talbot, of Kilmington, said that ,while he was hopeful, he agreed it could amount to no improvement."I'm a little bit hopeful but I will reserve my judgement until I speak to my oncologist. These things always seem to have a sting in their tail.

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