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Cancer drug battle taken to ministers
A LEUKAEMIA survivor from Kidderminster has taken his battle to make cancer drugs more widely available on the NHS to the heart of Government.
Kris Griffin met health secretary Jeremy Hunt and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham at the Britain Against Cancer conference to highlight the difficulties patients face in accessing cancer drugs.
Mr Griffin, previously diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia, has been a longstanding campaigner to ensure patients have access to treatments that are most clinically effective.
He receives the drug Dasatinib which is not widely available through the NHS but has been given to him through the Government’s cancer drugs fund. His campaign says in some parts of the country, however, patients are not being prescribed these treatments.
He said: “For cancer and leukaemia patients, the number one priority is getting access to the treatment most appropriate to your condition. For some, however, this process is proving upsetting and difficult. I raised this issue with Mr Burnham and Mr Hunt, explaining we need to make sure a broad range of treatments is available on the NHS.
“Although there are NICE approved drugs available for conditions like chronic myeloid leukaemia, these may not prove effective or can cause severe side effects. While they both agreed ensuring patients could get access to treatment was important, neither could make firm commitments.
“I will continue to campaign on this issue and ensure the patient perspective continues to be heard.”