A mum-of-two diagnosed with terminal cancer has accused medical chiefs of 'playing God' with people's lives after being denied life-extending drugs because of her address.
Jenny Robinson has slammed the 'postcode lottery' of healthcare after being told the pills would be available if she lived just a few miles east of her home in Eastern Way, Feltham.
The 42-year-old, who works as a cashier at Tesco in Sunbury, was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the beginning of the month and told by consultants at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith that Sutent would improve her quality of life and boost her chances of survival.
They told her the drug was routinely funded by Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trust - but her address falls under Hounslow Primary Care Trust, which only funds it in 'exceptional circumstances'.
Jenny's sister Sally and mum Jill Robinson(pictured), of Nene Gardens, Feltham, have launched a petitiondemanding the drug be made available to all.
Jill said: "It defies belief that Jennycould receive this treatment if she lived eight miles to the east, inan area where ironically we grew up and at least four generations ofour family were born and bred."
Jenny, whose 16-year-old daughter Sian Hill represents Great Britain at sports aerobics, said: "It makes me quite bitter to think there are hundreds of people across the country being denied these drugs in what's basically a postcode lottery."
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing the use of Sutent, but at the moment does not recommend it because it is not considered cost effective and prolongs lives rather than saving them. Until NICE makes its final decision next year, individual PCTs must choose whether or not to fund the drug.
A spokeswoman for Hounslow PCT said: "The treatment has not yet been fully assessed by NICE and their current guidelines say that it is not recommended when the condition is advanced or if secondary tumours have developed elsewhere. That is why Hounslow PCT has decided not to fund the treatment in this case."We have told Imperial Healthcare Trust [which runs Charing Cross] that if the specialists there think this patient's case is exceptional they can fill in our 'exceptional circumstances' form and we will reconsider."