Paper reveals plight of man denied treatment

By Colin Crummy

A cancer sufferer in Oxford has been offered life-saving drug treatment after the Courier Journal highlighted his plight.

Brunel Edwards had been denied the drug Bortezomib, a blood cancer
treatment, by Oxford City Primary Care Trust. It said 54-year-old
Edwards’ case was a low priority given the cost of treatment and a lack
of evidence of its effectiveness.

After the weekly free ran the
story, friends and relatives started an appeal to raise the £6,000
needed for a course of treatment. However, the campaigners were able to
hand back proceeds after the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust
agreed to cover the cost.

Lawrence Webb, group editor at the
Journal, said they were delivering extra bundles of the newspaper to
the campaigners’ homes and that copies were being handed out in mosques
and community centres in the city.

Edwards has since started his
treatment and is said to be doing well. Webb said: “Now the only worry
is that it will still be too late for him or won’t work.

There’s
a 40 per cent chance it will work, but at least we’ve tried to do our
bit and, hopefully, it had some effect on the NHS changing its mind.”

Clinical
trials of the drug are expected to end in September. Doctors predicted
that this would have been too late to help Edwards.

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