MP Roger Godsiff Backs Birmingham Dads Battle for ‘Wonder Drug’

Khalid Younis - Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia sufferer

Birmingham MP Roger Godsiff is urging the Prime Minister to over turn decisions to deny life-saving medicine to cancer sufferer Khalid Younis.

The father-of-four was diagnosed with a chronic form of Myeloid Leukaemia and is being treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Earlier in June, The Kings Heath local was told that the only available treatment left to use was Ponatinib, a drug that is widely available in Scotland and Wales, but not in England.

Younis was later informed by medics that his case was ‘not exceptional’ enough by the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) to warrant the treatment.

MP Rodger Godsiff & Khalid Younis
MP Rodger Godsiff & Khalid Younis

Ponatinib, often refered to as the ‘wonder drug’ is the only option left for the 43-year-old who has become resistant to all other medication and is unable to undergo a stem cell transplant due to a lung condition.

Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff has since appealed to David Cameron in hopes to over turn the decision “before it is too late” for Mr Younis.

In a letter to Downing Street, Godsiff, backed by Nick Dakin MP (Scunthorpe), Mark Durkan MP (Foyle) and Henry Smith MP (Crawley), called on Mr Cameron to do all he can to help Khalid receive the treatment he needs.

He wrote: “I am very worried indeed that by that point it may be too late for Khalid. It would be utterly tragic for him to die when a treatment exists that could save his life.

“He is unable to undergo a stem cell transplant due to also suffering from other conditions which exclude an operation of that magnitude.

“My colleagues and I ask that you do everything in your power to aid him in accessing the drug in the interim to give him the best possible chance of survival.”

Despite being readily available in Scotland and Wales, it is only available to patients in England with the rare T315I mutation, which affects between 2 and 20 per cent of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia.

Mr Younis, a former carpet fitter, even considered uprooting his family to Wales to become eligible for the treatment.

‘They say I’m not exceptional but talk to my mum, talk to my kids – they’ll tell you I’m exceptional.

‘It seems crazy. I have even considered moving to Wales so that I can get the treatment, but I worry about putting my family through it.

‘We are in a very sad, vulnerable and stressful situation.’




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