A Newbury cancer patient may take his protest against cancer drug plans all the way to parliament (from Sept. 2008).
A TERMINALLY-ill Newbury man marched in London last week against plans to deny him life-extending drugs on the NHS – and may now take his protests all the way to the Government.Kidney cancer patient David Walker and his wife Jennie marched on the headquarters of the Government’s drugs advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), in High Holborn on August 27, in protest at its draft guidance on four cancer drugs.As previously reported in Newburytoday in August, NICE said that the drugs, including the life-extending Sutent, were not a “cost effective” way to treat his advanced cancer.Mrs Walker said the protesters, which included the Kidney Cancer Support Group Oxford, forced their way into the offices when the chief executive of NICE, Andrew Dillon, did not speak to them. The police eventually prevented them from carrying on the protest in the building.Mrs Walker said: “Lots of people were lending us their support. Drivers honked their horns and one or two passers-by actually joined us after asking what we were doing.“There were protesters there who were fighting for their lives, which was humbling.“Although David has the worst stage of cancer, we realised how lucky we are because some people do not have our good fortune to be on the drug.”Mr Walker, aged 64, of Rectory Close, was prescribed Sutent through his work’s health insurance after he was diagnosed with cancer in January 2007.If NICE does not approve the drug next January, Mr Walker faces an anxious wait to discover if the NHS will continue his treatment when he retires in August. Last week the couple said that they may be forced to sell their home to fund the treatment, which costs £3,139 per cycle, with eight cycles needed a year. Their financial situation depends on whether the Government allows co-funding, where a patient can pay for extra treatment without forfeiting their right to free NHS treatment.NICE said that patients currently receiving the drug should continue to do so until they and their clinicians think they should stop, but it did not make it clear what would happen in Mr Walker’s situation.Mrs Walker wrote to NICE two weeks ago complaining about the plans. In response, NICE thanked her for voicing her opinion but did not give any indication of what would happen in their situation.Mrs Walker said if they do not get the decision they want from NICE, they will protest outside parliament.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."