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Cancer drug funding appeal rejected for the third time

A cancer sufferer's appeal for the NHS to pay for a drug she says is prolonging her life has been turned down for the third time.

Laura Loftus, from Leeds, is battling the health service, and also having to personally pay for the treatment at a cost of one thousand pounds a week.

She told ITV Calendar she is refusing to give up her fight for good health and her battle for the NHS to pick up the bill.

Tina Gelder reports:

£1,000 a week for cancer drug: NHS England defends decision not to prescribe

While Laura Loftus from Leeds says each case for being given the drug Avastin should be judged on a case-by-case basis, the NHS governing body says this is not how it works.

Laura says the drug is extending her life and pays out almost £1,000 a week for it.

"When the decision is taken that a treatment is not of benefit for an individual we understand how distressing this can be. The decision is however based on whether the treatment will be effective and benefit the individual.

“There is an opportunity for the patient and their clinician to appeal against the process.

"Appeals can only take into account any new clinical information that has not been previously considered, and which could have influenced the outcome of the decision, or if there is any doubt about the actual process through which the case has been considered.

"If this happened this would be considered by a new independent Appeals Panel led by the regional medical director.”

– NHS England spokesman

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Fundraising event held to buy cancer drugs for Leeds woman

A fundraising event was held today for a woman who has to fork out nearly a thousand pounds a month for cancer drugs that she cannot get on the NHS.

Laura Loftus from Leeds has cancer, and says the drug Avastin could extend her life. She can't get it on the NHS because she's not having chemotherapy. Helen Steel reports.