This is possibly the most important post I’ve carried to date. It compounds all of our fears about our CML drugs and exposes NHS England bureaucracy as a cruel, unsympathetic, misguided fool. This is the story of a father-of-four, who lives in England, and has received the devastating news that he does not qualify for Ponatinib, a treatment freely available in Scotland and Wales. This drug is his last chance and he’s been told that his case is “not exceptional.” Thank you to the Birmingham Mail and to reporter Alison Stacey for covering this and for contacting me and asking for my comment.

This is not an isolated incident and I am in touch with another gentleman who is in a similar position who has been told that he’s not exceptional either, I’ll be writing about him next week.

This, in a city where we have one of the finest blood cancer charities in Europe, Cure Leukaemia, desperately raising money to save lives. Khalid attends the same hospital as me, the QE in Birmingham; I can only imagine their despair at not being able to give him the drugs that he needs.

And the response from NHS England: “NHS England and NICE will shortly be consulting on a proposed new system for commissioning cancer drugs…” SHORTLY!! Written by people who don’t realise the consequence of their actions – cancelled reviews, cancelled meetings and a new process that only exists as a blank sheet of paper. All this whilst people die. If Khalid lived in Scotland or Wales he’d be taking Potaninib right now; afforded another lifeline.

We’re putting a patient pack together right now to help you campaign but in the meantime share the blog post, share the original article and show your support for Khalid. NHS England have to hand the keys to the medicine cabinet over, this is not about extending lives, it’s about saving them – to refuse to do is a death sentence.

Kris Griffin

Click the headline to take you to the original article.

Kings Heath dad denied ‘wonder’ cancer drug and told his case is ‘not exceptional’

Father-of-four Khalid Younis, 43, does not qualify for Ponatinib because of postcode lottery

A dying Birmingham dad has been denied a potentially life-saving cancer drug by the NHS in a postcode lottery scandal – and told his case is ‘not exceptional’.

Father-of-four Khalid Younis, from Kings Heath, has received the devastating news that he does not qualify for Ponatinib, a treatment freely available in Scotland and Wales.

The new ‘wonder’ drug is the only treatment left for the 43-year-old who is battling Chronic Myleoid Leukaemia (CML), as his body has become resistant to all other medicines.

Former carpet fitter Khalid, a patient at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: “They say I’m not exceptional, but talk to my Mum, talk to my kids, they’ll tell you I’m exceptional.

It seems crazy. I have even considered moving to Wales so that I can get the treatment, but I worry about putting my family through it.

We are in a very sad, vulnerable and stressful situation.

Khalid’s case comes just days after NHS England announced it is cutting 16 drugs from its Cancer Drugs Fund after overspending by £70 million.

For Khalid the postcode cancer lottery seems desperately unfair as living in England means his survival odds have been drastically reduced.

As he is unable to have a stem cell transplant due to a lung condition, the drug would have been his last shot at beating the leukaemia.

In a way it’s more painful to know that there’s something out there that could treat me, but I just can’t get Ponatinib,’’ said Khalid.

This is England, the most beautiful country in the world. They can spend millions on Wembley Stadium, but when it comes to a Dad’s cancer treatment there is not enough money.

I am truly blessed that I have my amazing family and friends around me. I worry that there must be people out there going through the same thing as me, but on their own.

Patient advocate Kris Griffin explained this in not an uncommon story for CML patients, as NHS England restricts the amount of drugs patients can access.

We are not talking about extending his life for a few months so he can prepare to say goodbye,” said Kris.

We talk about finding a cure for cancer and one comes along we say it is too expensive. It’s insane.

How is a man not ‘exceptionable’, when he has no other option? This could save his life, and to refuse him is inexcusable.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “We have every sympathy with anyone in this position.

NHS England and NICE will shortly be consulting on a proposed new system for commissioning cancer drugs. The new system will be designed to provide the NHS with a more systematic approach to getting the best price for cancer drugs, meaning more treatments can be made available, and give a greater focus on evaluation, leading to the best drugs progressing swiftly to routine commissioning.
21:00, 16 SEPTEMBER 2015
BY ALISON STACEY

Khalid Younis (Birmingham Mail)

Khalid Younis (Birmingham Mail)