A cancer sufferer from Wales says she’s been forced to fork out for a second home in Stockport and travel 100 miles just to get treatment she’s been refused at home.
57-year-old Yvonne Briscoe from Flintshire wanted a drug to reduce her bowel tumour but was refused funding from doctors in her home town in North Wales.
Mrs Briscoe had started chemotherapy at the Glan Clwyd Hospital target the cancer, but has been told by specialists her that the treatment had stopped having an effect.
She applied for Cetuximab in Wales but was turned down for the drug on the grounds that her case was not exceptional.
But Yvonne was told by doctors at The Christie in Manchester she would qualify for the treatment of at the specialist cancer hospital but only if she was registered in the city. So every week she packs up her things and travels to Stockportwhere she’s rented a flat at a cost of £400 a month.
Yvonne told Granada Reports, “This whole thing is really stressful and it makes things much worse, It gets you down. But I am a fighter and I'll fight it for as long as I can"
The drug is not approved by NICE - the National Institute for Clinical Excellence - and is not routinely available in Wales. But Cetuximab, which is said to prolong life for cancer sufferers who have tried other drugs that have failed, is more accessible through the Cancer Drugs Fund in England.
Professor Matthew Makin, Chief of Staff for Cancer services at the Health Board said: “We have to make the decision in context of an NHS with limited resources whilst ensuring every penny is spent as effectively as possible.”
Mrs Briscoe has set up a e-petition she intends to send to the Welsh Assembly Government pushing for a change in the so called lottery of healthcare.