Tony Wilson - was refused Sutent
Tony Wilson and the fight for Sutent
Tony Wilson died from kidney cancer in 2007. He was refused a drug called Sutent by the NHS, which although not life-saving, increases life expectancy and improves the quality of life.
His son, Oli, joined Inside Out to investigate whether or not anything has changed in the 18 months since his father died.
At that time, Sutent was being prescribed by some Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) but not all.
Sutent: more people now get the drug
It costs £3,000 per six-week cycle.
Oli describes his father as the victim of a post-code lottery and says he then went into battle on behalf of everyone in his position.
Early in 2009 the authorities made a decision that Sutent could be given to NEW patients… this was then extended to mean it could also be considered for patients who’d had other treatments.
Many PCTs are now prescribing Sutent.
Oli Wilson with his dad
Oli has written a piece about making the programme for Inside Out and reflecting on the events leading up to his father's death.
On Boxing Day 2006 I was with my dad at our 'traditional' boxing day Christmas dinner at The Yang Sing in China Town.
It was there he told me he had kidney cancer. He wouldn’t last nine months.
During that time we had our eyes opened to not only the harsh realities of life but also the North West we live in today.
In his hour of need he desperately needed a particular type of drug to keep him going but the NHS in Manchester turned his chances of hope down.
Sutent isn’t a life saving drug but it does prolong life significantly and also improve quality of life drastically, two things we wanted so badly.
For Inside Out I go back to this issue to find out if anything has changed in the last eighteen months since my dad passed away.
Going back to The Christie, where he died, wasn’t an easy thing to do but I needed to ask the question "What is happening to people in his position today?"
I found that things have changed for the better and that Sutent is now accessible to the people who need it.
However cancer sufferers must still go through a lengthy 'application process' and be subject to a 'cost effectiveness assessment'.
How can you put a cost statement on a life? It’s a difficult concept to fathom.
However, despite these problems still present, if my dad needed Sutent today he would eventually get it.
It’s a great result to a battle he started but it’s a result that, for my family and I, has come too late.
last updated: 06/03/2009 at 12:09