North West Wales

Cancer patient denied drug in Wales to meet first minister

Irfon Williams with his two young sons
Image caption Irfon Williams, pictured with two of his children, could not get the drug Cetuximab in north Wales

A cancer patient who moved to England to receive a drug not available in Wales will meet the first minister.

Irfon Williams, 44, from Bangor, Gwynedd, was told last year he had two years to live because of bowel cancer.

He needed the drug Cetuximab but Betsi Cadwaladr health board refused to fund it, so he moved across the border.

After being told this week his tumours have now shrunk, Carwyn Jones has agreed to meet and called his recovery "highly unusual".

Mr Williams was told in June tumours in his liver had shrunk enough for doctors to be able to operate and he could be free of the disease by September.

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said it was a "national disgrace" patients must go to England to receive some cancer drugs.

Betsi Cadwaladr said at the time decisions of that kind were "highly sensitive", and the Welsh government said all patients had access to "proven" treatments.

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