Woman's family and Usk locals rally round to pay for life-prolonging cancer drug

Ann Wilkinson is part of a campaign in Usk to get the same cancer drugs available on the NHS in Wales as in England. Pictured is Ann at home in Usk with Julie Mcgowan. (9399377)

Ann Wilkinson is part of a campaign in Usk to get the same cancer drugs available on the NHS in Wales as in England. Pictured is Ann at home in Usk with Julie Mcgowan and her husband Allan. (9399384)

Ann Wilkinson is part of a campaign in Usk to get the same cancer drugs available on the NHS in Wales as in England. Pictured is Ann at home in Usk. (9399386)

First published in Gwent news
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AN USK woman who is campaigning for a drug she has said could prolong her life to be made freely available on the Welsh NHS has blasted the board that has denied her the medication.

Ann Wilkinson, who has suffered with cancer for three years, will start a course of £6,000 treatment at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny on Friday paid for her by her family - after the NHS refused her Avastin even though it is available on the NHS in England.

She originally started to have chemotherapy for bowel cancer but since then the disease has spread to her liver and adrenal glands.

And she is furious she can’t get access to the drug when others in England would.

Mrs Wilkinson, who lives on New Market Street, said: “I’m in my seventies and it’s just not fair. Everyone should have this chance, young or old. It is one place, Britain, and who said Wales is different?”

She said that on the day she was told she would not be given Avastin the stress was so much that her husband Allan suffered a heart attack.

And she said she was angered by people on the Aneurin Bevan Health Board’s individual patient funding request (IPFR) panel which declined to give her the drug.

She added: “I would like to know their family was turned down, how would they react?”

A petition set up by Mrs Wilkinson’s friend and Usk author Julie McGowan calling for cancer drug availability to be the same in Wales as in England now has over 1,200 signatures and has been supported by Monmouth MP David Davies and Nick Ramsay AM.

Mr Ramsay said of the Welsh Government’s lack of a fund: “It does not make any sense."

If further chemotherapy and Avastin is successful, Mrs Wilkinson’s next course of treatment will be paid for by Usk’s Panto Players group. Members, including Mrs McGowan, had saved up thousands of pounds for new microphones but decided they would fund Mrs Wilkinson’s fight with it instead.

Among other supporters, the town’s mayor Cllr Roger Galletley has written a letter to the Welsh Government’s health minister Mark Drakeford.

He said denying Mrs Wilkinson Avastin is “outrageous when it is freely available 15 miles away.”

While 640 people from Usk’s German twin town, Graben-Neudorf, signed their own petition in support of Mrs Wilkinson being given Avastin after hearing of her plight.

In response to Mrs Wilkinson’s complaints, an Aneurin Bevan Health Board spokesman said its drugs board makes decisions on whether a patient’s condition is unusual or rare. If it is, they must further decide whether they would receive a greater clinical benefit from the treatment than others who have the same disease. He added: “The IPFR panel of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board meets to consider requests to fund treatment outside of the guidance issued by NICE.

“Whilst we understand that patients are sometimes disappointed with the decisions made by the IPFR Panel in order to fund treatment clinical exceptionality has to be proved. Where no clinical exceptionality can be identified a clear process is outlined in the All Wales Policy on Making Individual Patient Funding Requests for requesting a review of the decision made and submitting further clinical information for consideration.”

An exceptional case is where the patient will derive a greater clinical benefit from the treatment than other patients with the same disease, and whether the clinical presentation of the case is deemed to be rare or exceptional, the spokesman added..

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Avastin has been appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for use in the treatment of certain cancers but not for routine use in the NHS in England or Wales. All medicines approved by NICE for use in the NHS are made available in Wales.

“Research published in the British Journal of Cancer earlier this year concluded that Wales had a faster uptake of medicines most recently launched and subsequently recommended by NICE than England.

“The All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) also appraises medicines for use in Wales, ensuring patients have access to treatments which have a proven evidence base and are demonstrated to be cost-effective.

“A cancer drugs fund undermines this evidence-based approach and unfairly disadvantages those patients with serious conditions other than cancer.

“If a clinician believes a patient will gain significantly more benefit from a treatment which is not routinely available on the NHS they can apply to their health board for funding through the Individual Patient Funding Request process.”

To sign Mrs McGowan’s petition visit change.org/en-GB/petitions/cancer-drugs-for-wales.

Comments (9)

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9:07am Wed 20 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving . jimmysmith
  • Score: -7

10:11am Wed 20 Aug 14

10101010 says...

Maybe if the Welsh government didn't give free prescriptions to everyone in Wales, they would have the money to provide this drug for free as in England. There are many differences between England and Wales. That's what happens when a country wants to govern itself. Biggest mistake Wales ever made in my opinion!
Maybe if the Welsh government didn't give free prescriptions to everyone in Wales, they would have the money to provide this drug for free as in England. There are many differences between England and Wales. That's what happens when a country wants to govern itself. Biggest mistake Wales ever made in my opinion! 10101010
  • Score: 8

10:30am Wed 20 Aug 14

Mr Miffed says...

jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
[quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy? Mr Miffed
  • Score: 8

2:22pm Wed 20 Aug 14

AlRees says...

Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country. AlRees
  • Score: -2

2:49pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

AlRees wrote:
Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.
Tosh. The way in which Wales spends what it gets is decided in Cardiff. When they still have enough to keep blowing it on idiotic things like race tracks, yet more language initiatives, airports, more staff and office refurbishments for themselves then the poverty pleas may carry some weight. Right now they don't.
[quote][p][bold]AlRees[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.[/p][/quote]Tosh. The way in which Wales spends what it gets is decided in Cardiff. When they still have enough to keep blowing it on idiotic things like race tracks, yet more language initiatives, airports, more staff and office refurbishments for themselves then the poverty pleas may carry some weight. Right now they don't. Stevenboy
  • Score: 5

4:24pm Wed 20 Aug 14

jimmysmith says...

Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
stop blaming labour you silly boy .theyre long gone .its the tories doing ,they are the party in power .as for carwyn if i had my way .him the welsh assembly ,like the tories ,david davies and your blessed E/U id drop you all of at the local rubbish tip .imagine how many treatments ( as you put it ) that would fund in wales eh? what you reckon jimmy miffed
[quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]stop blaming labour you silly boy .theyre long gone .its the tories doing ,they are the party in power .as for carwyn if i had my way .him the welsh assembly ,like the tories ,david davies and your blessed E/U id drop you all of at the local rubbish tip .imagine how many treatments ( as you put it ) that would fund in wales eh? what you reckon jimmy miffed jimmysmith
  • Score: -1

4:27pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Ollie254 says...

AlRees wrote:
Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.
Well if the WAG aren't making these decisions then what are they actually doing. Cut out the middle man and a whole raft of, apparently, un necessary expense and spend on ladies such as this who deserve the money without the extra stress of having to argue for it.
[quote][p][bold]AlRees[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.[/p][/quote]Well if the WAG aren't making these decisions then what are they actually doing. Cut out the middle man and a whole raft of, apparently, un necessary expense and spend on ladies such as this who deserve the money without the extra stress of having to argue for it. Ollie254
  • Score: 4

4:27pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Ollie254 says...

AlRees wrote:
Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.
Well if the WAG aren't making these decisions then what are they actually doing. Cut out the middle man and a whole raft of, apparently, un necessary expense and spend on ladies such as this who deserve the money without the extra stress of having to argue for it.
[quote][p][bold]AlRees[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]Are you serious? Health may be devolved but Wales still gets its budget from a block grant that has been shamefully cut by the Tories who then have the audacity to attack the Welsh Government when it is the Tories who are responsible for cutting Welsh funds then act surprised when things go wrong. If David Davies is outraged at the lack of funding for his constituent, maybe he should go express his outrage at the chancellor and remind him that while Wales is denied the right to raise its own income Westminster and his disgrace of a party will be responsible for the result of underfunding our country.[/p][/quote]Well if the WAG aren't making these decisions then what are they actually doing. Cut out the middle man and a whole raft of, apparently, un necessary expense and spend on ladies such as this who deserve the money without the extra stress of having to argue for it. Ollie254
  • Score: 4

4:43pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

jimmysmith wrote:
Mr Miffed wrote:
jimmysmith wrote:
supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .
Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?
stop blaming labour you silly boy .theyre long gone .its the tories doing ,they are the party in power .as for carwyn if i had my way .him the welsh assembly ,like the tories ,david davies and your blessed E/U id drop you all of at the local rubbish tip .imagine how many treatments ( as you put it ) that would fund in wales eh? what you reckon jimmy miffed
Your employer can give you money but he can't tell you how to prioritise what you spend it on. My point is, it wouldn't matter how much Westminster gave WAG they wouldn't use it on health would they? Wales is a one party state and it ain't Tory.
[quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr Miffed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jimmysmith[/bold] wrote: supported by david davies ? its his treacherous tory party thats denying welsh people these life saving drugs .wales is akin to a third world country when it comes to cancer treatments and care .as for nevil hall at diagnosis they are going to move mountains for you ,three months down the line your just another number postponed treatments etc its disgusting ,and just google the salaries the useless chief executive and his deputy are receiving .[/p][/quote]Are you for real? For a start the NHS in Wales is devolved which means that LABOUR are at the helm. In addition, didn't your blessed Carwyn hand over yet another £1.6M to support Welsh learning centres in Wales at the Eistedfodd last week? I wonder how many treatments that would buy?[/p][/quote]stop blaming labour you silly boy .theyre long gone .its the tories doing ,they are the party in power .as for carwyn if i had my way .him the welsh assembly ,like the tories ,david davies and your blessed E/U id drop you all of at the local rubbish tip .imagine how many treatments ( as you put it ) that would fund in wales eh? what you reckon jimmy miffed[/p][/quote]Your employer can give you money but he can't tell you how to prioritise what you spend it on. My point is, it wouldn't matter how much Westminster gave WAG they wouldn't use it on health would they? Wales is a one party state and it ain't Tory. Stevenboy
  • Score: 4
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