Protesters demand NHS kidney cancer treatment rethink

Dozens of kidney cancer sufferers and their families protested today over the refusal to allow patients treatments on the NHS.







Protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) in Holborn, central London, waving placards insisting they "deserved the right to life".



Nice issued draft guidance earlier this month rejecting the drugs Sutent (sunitinib), Avastin (bevacizumab), Nexavar (sorafenib) and Torisel (temsirolimus).



The draft guidance, which is subject to appeal, rejects the drugs, saying they are not cost effective for patients with advanced and/or metastatic kidney cancer.



Although the medicines do not cure the cancer, they do extend a person's life by a matter of months.



Patients and their families handed letters to the organisation calling for a rethink of the guidance.



Broadcaster James Whale, who lost a kidney to cancer in 2000, was among protesters.



He said: "I want the chairman of Nice to come down and speak to these people. I want him to look in to the eyes of the people whose lives he would cut short.



"These faceless bureaucrats are trying to stop people's lives."



Roger Grace, 60, from south Devon, said he was only given six months to live before he started taking the drug Sutent.



"It has kept me alive for two years. I'm living proof that this drug works.



"It is absolutely imperative that other people are given these drugs. It needs to be available to everyone who has a clinical need for it.



"It needs to be decided by consultants and not by the accountants at Nice."



Jean Murphy, 63, from Salford, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in July 2007. She started taking Sutent three weeks ago after an anonymous donor gave her £10,000.



She said: "It has made me feel more like my old self and I've only been on it for three weeks. Last week I went shopping for the first time in eight months, that's how well I'm feeling.



"I am here to support all these people. I feel very angry about what Nice are doing.



"My professor and other professors have said how good this drug is.



"Lots of people have worked hard and put money in to the country and now they can't get it. I never thought I would see the day when this country would do that."



Her daughter Cathy Ostasz said she felt as if a price had been put on her mother's life.



"In my letter to Nice I said they were condemning kidney cancer patients to an early death."



Today's protest comes after a group of 26 leading UK cancer experts wrote to a Sunday newspaper to say they were "dismayed" at the guidance.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference