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PM should not have to choose between causes
8:10am Sunday 12th August 2012 in Worcester
A CANCER survivor from Worcester says Prime Minister David Cameron should never be asked to choose between foreign aid and cancer treatments at home after he came under fire by a radio caller.
Mr Cameron was criticised on the radio this week by a 68-year-old grandmother over the decision to send £12 billion abroad in foreign aid rather than spending it on helping people at home.
The woman, who suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, used the name Anne during the interview, refusing to give her real name because some of her family do not know she is ill.
She told Mr Cameron she needed a drug called ofatumumab but that the NHS refused to fund it. She said a two-year course of the drug would cost £250,000, which she could not afford. The mother-of-three, who was in tears, told Mr Cameron: “It’s not fair. I need some funding now.”
Mr Cameron said promises had been made on foreign aid and there was a moral obligation to help the world’s poorest people.
He also said NHS funding had been increased and was looking to extend the cancer drugs fund which gives people support to pay for treatments. Barbara Moss , aged 57, of Aconbury Close, Worcester, who survived bowel cancer, said: “I don’t think he should have been asked that.
“You can’t say take away from one good cause and give to another. We should not be taking away from aid or comparing it to funding cancer drugs. Each one has to be assessed in its own right.”
She said savings to help cancer patients could come from money wasted on administration and quangos and repeat prescriptions.
Mrs Moss and her family paid £21,000 for cancer drug Avastin which is not available on the NHS. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer and given months to live in 2006. She credits the drug with saving her life.