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Cancer sufferer to get drug refund

A Scottish health board has made a U-turn over its decision not to fund medication for a man who has been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer.

NHS Grampian has revealed that it will now pay for Mike Gray from Buckie in Banffshire, to receive the Cetuximab drug which could potentially prolong his life.

Mr Gray, 53, had been funding the treatment himself, at a reported cost of around £3,400 per fortnight. He had urged NHS Grampian to reconsider its original decision after it agreed with the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) that prescribing him the drug would not be cost effective.

NHS Grampian said its exceptional-circumstances panel had decided that he had benefited more from the treatment than would normally be expected.

A spokesman added: "Mr Gray will now be prescribed Cetuximab funded by NHS Grampian.

"All his costs previously incurred will be reimbursed in full.

"We understand this has been a difficult time for Mr Gray and his family. However, we believe the arrangements are robust and absolutely necessary in order to reach sound clinical decisions."

An SMC spokesman said: "This demonstrates that the system in Scotland is working effectively.

"If something is found to be non cost effective it is for the health board to look at individual cases in order to make their decision."

Scottish Medicines Consortium

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