A CANCER survivor who owes her life to a miracle drug has condemned the decision by health bosses not to provide it on the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) issued its final guidance yesterday which does not recommend the drug Avastin (also called bevacizumab) for treating bowel cancer.

Barbara Moss, aged 57, of Aconbury Close, Worcester, says the only reason she is still alive is because she had the drug, which shrank the tumour in her bowel until it became operable.

She was given months to live more than five years ago and the family had to pay £21,000 for Avastin.

Mrs Moss, who had to cash in her pension and her elderly mother’s savings to pay for the drug, said: “I am disappointed with the rejection of these drugs by Nice.

“The figures they discuss relate to people’s lives and that of their families.

“We only need to look at our European partners to see how low our cancer survival rates are compared with theirs.”

Mrs Moss wants to make people aware of the £200 million Cancer Drugs Fund, a national pot of money to help people get access to cancer drugs which is divided among the strategic health authorities, including NHS West Midlands.

Mrs Moss said: “The Cancer Drugs Fund works well to enable access to drugs in regions where the Strategic Health Authority have shortlisted them.

“However, there is great discrepancy in how each region functions and we are back again with the postcode lottery problem.”

The guidance by Nice means that the drug, along with panitumumab (Vectibix, Amgen), will not be used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer that has progressed after first line chemotherapy.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of Nice, said: “We have already recommended six treatments for various stages of colorectal cancer and are disappointed not to be able to add these three drugs to the list of treatments for this stage of the disease.

“However, we have to be confident that the benefits that drugs offer patients really do justify what the NHS will have to pay for them.”