'I deserve to live'

PUBLISHED: 14:06 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 15 June 2010

A KILMINGTON man with terminal cancer has been refused a potentially life-prolonging drug by the NHS.

A Kilmington man with terminal cancer has been refused a potentially life-prolonging drug by the NHS.Father-of-four Leslie Thompson-Talbot, who is 58, was declined funding for Sunitinib -- his only hope of slowing the progression of cancer - due to "postcode lottery" prescribing.Mr Thompson-Talbot, from The Street, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in 2002 and has now been refused the medication for a second time.After having a kidney removed and undergoing a course of Interferon injections to help stablilise the cancer, the tumours have started to grow again.He said: "My cancer can't be cured, but these tablets can reduce the tumours and give me extra years. The cost is a factor in prescribing these tablets, but how do you put a price on a life?"I was more upset when I found out others were getting it simply because of their postcode. I think it's a joke - cancer treatment should not be about where you live."Mr Thompson-Talbot, who moved to Devon after his diagnosis to be closer to his two daughters, was previously a sales and promotions director, but can no longer work due to the cancer and is on disability benefits. He said: "I couldn't afford to pay for the tablets myself. I have had to come to terms with having terminal cancer, and have good days and bad days. But I could do without having to fight for treatment."I think the fact that I have an incurable disease makes me deserving. I'm just an ordinary, decent guy."Mr Thompson-Talbot's GP, Dr Jonathan G Halford, of St Thomas Court surgery, Axminster, wrote on his behalf to the Devon Primary Care Trust to appeal against the decision. He wrote: "This is his only hope in slowing the progression of his disease and it is made harder for him to take on board when he is aware that other patients within the PCT, with the same advanced metastatic renal cell carcinoma diagnosis, are receiving treatment."Mr Thompson-Talbot is really seeking an explanation as to why other patients within the same PCT, with the same condition, are receiving this therapy while he is not, particularly given his relatively young age."Mr Thompson-Talbot's case was also supported by Dr Shrinivasan, of the Exeter Oncology Centre. Concerned neighbours and friends have also rallied to offer support. Madeleine Scott-Naish said:"He's a very sick man. I think he has suffered enough." She has written to MP Hugo Swire, to complain about Mr Thompson-Talbot's treatment.


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