Dad’s NHS plea for cancer drug

Ron McCoo wants abiraterone to be available on the NHS.
Ron McCoo wants abiraterone to be available on the NHS.

A prostate cancer sufferer has spoken of his shock at news a health watchdog has refused to recommend a drug which improved his life.

Ron McCoo, a former publican from Pilling, was diagnosed with the illness in early 2010 after noticing blood in his urine and aching in his hips, back and pelvis and told it was incurable.

But the 59-year-old was given treatment with abiraterone, which extends the life of men with the condition, giving him more valuable time to spend with his beloved family, including his wife Terri, their four grandchildren and first great granddaughter. He says he feels lucky but he is saddened other men won’t benefit from it on the NHS. Draft guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) proposes they will not recommend abiraterone to be made available on the NHS in England and Wales. Ron said: “I didn’t expect to see last Christmas, so it has made a massive difference to my life. “I feel everybody should have the chance to benefit from this treatment. “Most of them will have worked all their lives and contributed to National Insurance and the NHS and it is really unfair if they don’t get the treatment.” The Prostate Cancer Charity is now campaigning to get the draft decision overturned.