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Patient wins bowel cancer treatment ruling

A bowel cancer patient has won a High Court ruling, meaning that she will now have access to a controversial cancer treatment.

Victoria Otley paid £15,000 for private treatment after her local primary care trust (PCT) refused to pay for the bowel cancer drug Avastin.

However, she was unable to afford further treatment and decided to take her case to the High Court.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Mitting said that Barking and Dagenham PCT's decision to refuse the cancer treatment was "flawed and irrational".

He said that the panel had only concentrated on the patient's short-term prospects and had failed to take into account her "slim but important" chances of surviving more than a few months if she was given the cancer treatment.

A spokesman for the charity Bowel Cancer UK told the Daily Mail that the ruling was a "crucial victory".

"This country has been at the forefront of developing these new treatments but we're at the very back of the queue when it comes to getting access to them," he said, adding that patients in France are 14 times more likely to be prescribed these drugs.

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