Cancer drug not available on NHS

A new drug to slow the advance of bone marrow cancer will not be available to Welsh and English patients, says a leaked NHS report.

The report, leaked to the Daily Mail, said the drug Velcade is not ready for widespread distribution in the UK and that more research must be done to ensure the safety of the drug.

Velcade slows the advance of myeloma, a cancer that attacks bone marrow plasma cells, and is thought to increase life of patients who have the terminal disease by an average of six months.

The drug costs an average of £18,000 per patient and is widely available in Scotland.

Myeloma UK, a foundation to help the people afflicted with the disease, is going to fight the report and believes the drug will save patients' lives.

The foundation expects to take the NHS to court over the decision, claiming "no patient should die without access to the drug".

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