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Published on 29 January 2008

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Health board in U-turn over drug

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A health board in Scotland has reversed a decision not to fund medication for a man suffering from terminal bowel cancer, it has emerged.

NHS Grampian has confirmed that it will now pay for Mike Gray to receive Cetuximab which could potentially prolong his life.

Up until now Mr Gray, 53, from Buckie in Banffshire had reportedly been paying £3,400 per fortnight for the treatment himself.

He had asked NHS Grampian to reconsider an earlier ruling after the board agreed with a recommendation from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) that prescribing him the medication would not be cost effective.

NHS Grampian said it had decided to rethink its policy after its exceptional-circumstances panel ruled Mr Gray had benefited more from the treatment than would normally be expected.

An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “Mr Gray will now be prescribed Cetuximab funded by NHS Grampian. All his costs previously incurred will be reimbursed in full.”

And an SMC spokesman welcomed the move. He 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.

“In this case they have clearly made the right decision for Mr Gray.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

NHS Grampian

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