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A group of mums in Kent are pledging to raise £18,000 for their friend to buy the cancer drug she needs.
Nikki Phelps, 37, lives in Luddesdown near Gravesend and has Multiple Endocrine Neoplais (MEN1), a genetic condition that has left her with many tumours.
Nikki's consultant strongly recommended that she take the drug Sunitinab, to prolong her life and costs around £3000 a month. NHS West Kent refused to pay for it.
Nikki and husband Bill have already spend £6000 from a pension plan but say the money is fast running out and they may be forced to sell their home and business, a cattery - The Cat's Pyjamas.
Members of Nikki's mother and baby group who meet in Gravesend every week are now rallying around to raise the much needed funds.
Among the many events they're organising is an 18 mile walk on 25th April around the Hoo Peninsula. They want people to either help out with donations, or join in. Other events include a quiz night, an auction and a salsa night.
Here is a statement from NHS West Kent:
Sunitinib is only licensed and NICE approved for treatment of renal cell carcinoma and gastro-intestinal stromal tumour. It is not licensed for any other types of cancer.
Dr James Thallon, Medical Director for NHS West Kent, said:
“NHS West Kent routinely funds Sunitinib for conditions approved by NICE. However, for certain types of tumour the drug is not licensed, or approved by NICE, and it is vitally important that we consider all the clinical evidence in deciding to fund a drug in these circumstances. We have to prioritise treatments that we have clear evidence will work over those where we can’t be certain, to get the best from our limited resources and to not endanger patients with unproven treatments.”