Four in five older women with breast cancer are being denied access to 43p-a-day pill that would stop the disease from spreading

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FOUR in five older women with breast cancer are being denied a cheap life-saving drug, a damning report reveals.

Experts estimate the failure to provide the 43p-a-day pill that stops the disease spreading is costing 1,200 lives a year.

 Experts estimate that denying this pill to older women with breast cancer is costing 1,200 lives a year

Alamy
Experts estimate that denying this pill to older women with breast cancer is costing 1,200 lives a year

Around 36,000 postmenopausal patients could benefit from bisphosphonates, left, which slash patients’ chances of dying by ten per cent.

Two years ago, a major study proved it cuts the spread of breast tumours by more than a quarter. But a Breast Cancer Now probe shows only 42 out of 208 local health funding boards — one in five — routinely offer it to eligible patients.

The charity’s chief executive Baroness Delyth Morgan said the Government and NHS England were guilty of “a dere­liction of duty.”

Professor Rob Coleman, of Sheffield University, said: “That over 1,000 women a year are being allowed to die unnecessarily is a shameful irresponsibility.”

Last night NHS England called the report “flawed”, adding: “Breast cancer survival is now at its highest ever.”

 Baroness Delyth Morgan said that the Government and NHS England are guilty of 'a dereliction of duty'

Rex Features
Baroness Delyth Morgan said that the Government and NHS England are guilty of ‘a dereliction of duty’

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