A CANCER charity has described a decision not to make an effective breast cancer drug available on the NHS as a blow to hundreds of women.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer expressed its "utter disappointment" that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has been unable to recommend breast cancer drug Afinitor for use on the NHS.

Charity director James Jopling said: "Today's decision is an utter disappointment, and will come as a blow to the nearly 300 women who might have benefited from the precious, quality time with their families Afinitor could have given them."

"This drug has been shown to be effective at slowing the growth of some metastatic breast cancers, to help a patient live a good quality of life for longer, but the ever-present issue of cost has taken an invaluable option away from these women for whom the treatment options are already very limited."

Nan McDonald, 63, from Bathgate was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in October 2006.

She said: "I know all too well that secondary breast cancer is not something for which there is a cure, so when we hear about drugs such as Afinitor being rejected it is sorely disappointing."