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Cancer victim told to pay for his own drugs by NHS

A cancer patient who was sent home to die by hospital doctors but then discovered a cocktail of drugs that stabilised his illness has now been told that the NHS will not pay for his medicine.

Jack Hose, 71, a retired engineer, was receiving a chemotherapy drug called irinotecan on the NHS, but it was failing to halt his bowel cancer.

NHS doctors told Hose, from Bournemouth, that they could do no more for him and that he should go home and make the most of the rest of his life while taking painkillers.

Hose was not prepared to die and sought a second opinion from a private doctor who recommended trying another drug, called cetuximab, in combination with irinotecan.

The mix of drugs appears to have stabilised Hose’s cancer. However, cetuximab is not funded by the NHS.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is treating Hose, has told him that, if he takes the drug, he will need to pay for all his care, including the cost of the medicine he initially received on the NHS.

Hose is the latest victim of the labour government’s policy of denying NHS treatment to patients who pay for an additional private drug.

Alan Johnson, the health secretary, says such an arrangement, known as “co-payments”, would lead to a two-tiered NHS.

“It seems outrageous that, having paid National Insurance contributions for 50 years, they are now asking me to pay for my care,” said Hose.

From:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3999216.ece

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