BREAST cancer drug Herceptin will be available on the NHS in three months.

The announcement was made by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on Friday, just a year after Bridg-water woman Barbara Clark's plight was first publicised in Mercury.

The NICE is recommending Herceptin as a cost-effective treatement to help women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

The news brings a joyful end to Barbara's campaign. This time last year she was prepared to sell her home to finance Herceptin privately at a cost of £27,000 after the NHS refused to prescribe it to treat her cancer.

She fought against the decision, winning her fight to have the drug for free on the NHS, and put pressure on the Government to fast-track the drug through its lengthy UK licensing procedures.

If this had not been successful it would have been another four years before the drug was available and thousands more lives would have been lost.

Barbara is overjoyed that everyone will have the same rights and access to Herceptin on the NHS later this summer.

She said: "This is wonderful news. It's the power of the media that has saved my life.

"It's such a wonderful day and feeling to know that in three months' time it will be available on the NHS.

"I have to say Scotland is making it available today (Friday), and it does make me wonder why we can't pull our fingers out and make it available now.

"But I hope that after this good news other life-saving drugs like Herceptin will be fast-tracked through the licensing process as well."

Mercury readers supported Barbara's campaign last year, and helped raise £25,393 through donations and organising events to help 16 women with breast cancer.

Barbara continues to support women who need Herceptin now who cannot afford to wait until the drug is signed and sealed later this summer.