A cancer sufferer says she has been handed a 'death sentence' after health chiefs rejected her second appeal for a so-called 'wonder drug'.
Gran-of-five Margaret Whitby, of Curtis Road, Whitton, received the devastating news from bosses at NHS Hounslow on October 2.
The 74-year-old, who has lung cancer, said the drug erlotinib (commonly known as Tarceva) was her last hope and she doesn't know where to turn next.
"I was bitterly disappointed when I opened the letter telling me the appeal had been rejected," said Mrs Whitby."I'm so angry with them (NHS Hounslow) for effectively handing me a death sentence, but not too surprised because they seem to be turning everyone down.
"My daughter's in Denmark and she said if I was living over there I'd get the best treatment available, regardless of the cost."
Margaret, who has two sons and a daughter, was first diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2006.
She thought she was clear after surgeons removed part of the affected lung that July, only for the disease to reappear last summer.
The cancer has been slowly growing ever since and chemotherapy proved unsuccessful earlier this year because the drugs weren't passing through her body.
Her oncologist asked NHS Hounslow (formerly Hounslow PCT) to fund treatment with an alternative drug erlotinib, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumours.
But the trust's exceptional cases panel refused his first application on the grounds that Mrs Whitby hadn't been offered its recommended treatment with the drug docetaxel.
He was stunned when a second appeal was rejected, according to Mrs Whitby, despite his explanation that the alternative drug was unsuitable because the side-effects would considerably reduce her standard of living.
Twickenham MP Vince Cable, who has supported Mrs Whitby's campaign, said: "This rationing process, which appears to be quite arbitrary, is denying people access to crucial, sometimes life-saving drugs. Why are trusts over-ruling the decisions of senior oncologists if it's nothing to do with money?"