Plea for diabetic drug

AN Ipswich diabetic is today asking health chiefs for a drug unavailable on the NHS which she claims will vastly improve her quality of life.

AN Ipswich diabetic is today asking health chiefs for a drug unavailable on the NHS which she claims will vastly improve her quality of life.

Jennet Harvey said being prescribed exenatide would change her life, which is currently plagued with diabetic-related illness and spells in hospital.

The drug, a twice daily injection, works alongside insulin to reduce blood glucose toward target levels and helps patients control weight gain.

Mrs Harvey, 46, has had to increase her insulin levels several times since she was diagnosed 14 years ago and is prone to infections whenever her levels are up.

She said: “Basically, this drug would be life-changing for me.

“At the moment I'm getting sick two or three times in a year and having to go into hospital and this drug could help prevent that.

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“At the moment I'm scared of even catching a cold.

“The drug would also help control my weight, which insulin makes me put on, which has an adverse affect on my heart.

“It's not an expensive drug and certainly costs less than when I have to stay in hospital for several days because I'm ill.”

Mrs Harvey, of Troon Gardens, in the Rushmere area of Ipswich, said her consultant at Ipswich Hospital has said the drug would benefit her, but it is not currently one of the drugs available to clinicians from the Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT).

Mrs Harvey said: “I feel sorry for the doctors in these situations. They want to give you the drug and help you but they can't.

“I've tried lots of other drugs but they all have a negative affect elsewhere in my health.”

Dr Peter Bradley, director of public health at the PCT, said: “If there is good evidence from clinicians for the use of a particular drug that has not yet been before The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Suffolk PCT has a panel that will consider paying for it.”

n Who should decide which patients get which drugs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

BONE cancer sufferers hailed a decision yesterday by the Government's health watchdog to reverse a ruling which prevented them from obtaining a life-extending drug from the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has recommended a scheme to fund bortezomib (commonly known as Velcade) for multiple myeloma sufferers in England and Wales who respond well to it.

In August last year The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) made a landmark decision that breast cancer drug Herceptin must be funded by the NHS.

The drugs watchdog made its decision after rejecting an appeal by the Newbury and Community Primary Care Trust, which had raised concerns over treatment length, cost effectiveness and risks.

Herceptin targets the HER2 protein which can fuel tumours. Around 20per cent of breast cancers are HER2 positive.

NICE said breast cancer patients with HER2 positive cancers who had a moderate or high chance of the cancer returning should be given Herceptin after surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

The cost for one year's treatment is around £19,500

In April last year Ann Marie Rogers of Swindon, Wilts, won her battle for Herceptin at the Court of Appeal.

Ms Rogers, 53, had said she faced a “death sentence” without Herceptin.

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