DEVON Primary Care Trust will tomorrow (Thursday) review its decision not to allow a Woolsery cancer patient to have a potentially life-lengthening drug on the NHS. The trust has twice refused permission for kidney cancer sufferer Stuart Rickard to have
DEVON Primary Care Trust will today review its decision not to allow a Woolsery cancer patient to have a potentially life-lengthening drug on the NHS.The trust has twice refused permission for kidney cancer sufferer Stuart Rickard to have Sutent, or Sunitinib, which is freely available in Wales.A Save Our Stuart fund was launched in the village before Christmas to help Mr Rickard pay for the drug privately at a cost of around £3,000 a month.The cast of Aladdin, a pantomime written by Mr Rickard, put on an extra performance to raise money and a further £600 was raised on Saturday at a concert put on by his friends.Mr Rickard, 62, is coming to the end of a free course of Sutent provided by the manufacturers and says it has made him feel better.His case has been taken up by Rose Woodward, who runs the Kidney Cancer Support Network and Clive Stone, another kidney cancer patient, who heads a group known as Justice for Kidney Cancer Patients.Mr Stone told the Gazette that denial of Sutent had meant Mr Rickard had had no option but to go on to Interferon, a highly toxic drug with severe side effects and poor response rate.He said: "NICE - the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - has made it clear that patients already on Interferon will not be disadvantaged and they are entitled for Sutent to be funded on the NHS. We really must put an end to this postcode lottery."A spokesperson for Devon Primary Care Trust said the case was being reviewed because of concerns raised and in the light of guidance issued by NICE since the trust's original decision.