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Battle for cancer drug lost

PUBLISHED: 14:19 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 July 2010

A retired fireman has suffered a setback in his battle to win funding for a cancer drug.

Liver cancer patient Barry Humphrey has lost an appeal for a £5,000 trial for a drug aimed at buying him more time.

A retired fireman has suffered a setback in his battle to win funding for a cancer drug.

Liver cancer patient Barry Humphrey has lost an appeal for a £5,000 trial for a drug aimed at buying him more time.

His upset wife Hazel says health bosses have “sentenced him to an early death” .

Mr Humphrey, from North Walsham, said “my life is not worth £5,000” but is vowing to keep fighting.

Back in May, the News told how, after 25 years' service saving lives as a fireman in London, he had developed a rare cancer, triggered by hepatitis caught from a casualty during a rescue.

But officials at NHS Norfolk have decided not to fund treatment recommended by his consultant, saying Mr Humphrey's case fails to meet national cost-effectiveness guidelines.

NHS Norfolk medical director Bryan Heap said treatment funding decisions were taken on clinical rather than social circumstances, so Mr Humphrey's past as an exemplary citizen unfortunately could not be taken into consideration.

The cost of Sorafenib, along with administration, extra scans and follow-up was £150,000 a year, and trials indicated an increase in life expectancy of 12 weeks.


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