Prime Minister David Cameron
United Kingdom

A cancer sufferer – who is facing an anxious wait to see if she is eligible for a vital life-saving drug – has called for a change in the way health bosses allocate funding.

Mel Frisby has called into question contentious proposals by an NHS advisory group to offer incentives for people to quit smoking, or eat healthier food.

The controversial pilot scheme saw a pregnant women awarded supermarket vouchers for quitting smoking, and the obese paid to lose an agreed amount of weight.

But, the mother-of-two, who has already successfully battled breast cancer, and a brain tumour that spread to her liver and lungs, believes the proposals could take money from vital services.

The 38-year-old, who was told two weeks ago cancer had spread back into her brain, is now awaiting to see if she is eligible to receive lapatinib, an oral drug used for people suffering from tumours. Doctors have told Mrs Frisby the drug could help her condition, but have said the treatment could work out at £90 a day. She will find out in two weeks’ time if she has been accepted for the vital life-saving treatment.

“I’m just waiting for the decision now. It is a very anxious time,” Mel said.

“I have been told that it may cost £90 a day for a treatment over a couple of weeks. I know that is a lot, but if it means I have an extra three months or a year with my kids it is worth it. It seems to me that a lot of people are awaiting – or being denied – vital drugs because the NHS has not got enough money.

“I know I am going to get a backlash from this, but I don’t think people should be rewarded for losing weight or quitting smoking.

“Don’t get me wrong, I think they should be helped, but vital funding should not be put into stuff like this. It should be used to help people suffering from conditions outside their control.

“It is not cost effective to waste money on proposals when there are drugs that can help lengthen people’s life.

“I am a normal mother and if I get extra time with my kids because of this drug, it will be worth every bit of its cost.

“People should not be refused drugs on the ground of it being too expensive when the NHS are putting money into other schemes that reward people for making positive changes on their own lifestyle.”

People should not have to put up a fight to get vital life saving Cancer drugs.

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The Support Vital Funding for Cancer Drugs petition to Prime Minister David Cameron was written by Mandy Wall and is in the category Health at GoPetition.

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