Kidney cancer patient Clive Stone has begged Health Secretary Alan Johnson to step in and halt the 'postcode lottery' over a life-extending drug.

Mr Stone, from Freeland, near Witney, sent a letter to Mr Johnson about the refusal of Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust to give the drug Sunitinib to 20 patients, and asked the Government to intervene.

He sent it on July 16 and is disappointed he has not yet received a reply, saying cancer victims deserve quick action because they do not have a lot of time.

The letter was also copied to Witney MP David Cameron who sent Mr Stone an email acknowledging receipt.

The 60-year-old is campaigning on behalf of all the people in Oxfordshire who have been denied the drug Sunitinib by the Trust.

Mr Stone, chairman of the cancer support group FROG (Friends of Renal Oncology Group), said: "I am disappointed I have not yet received a reply from Alan Johnson. I sent him a personal letter on behalf of all the victims of this postcode lottery, urging him to intervene.

"Half the Government is on holiday, meanwhile nothing has been done and we are being left here to die.

"I have been a fighter all my life, but there are some older people in the same position who don't know where to turn. The nurses and doctors who I have seen have been fantastic but their hands are tied."

Oxfordshire PCT has declined to start funding the drug ahead of its approval next year by the the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. To date, 20 patients have been denied the drug by the PCT.

Mr Stone was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year and had a kidney removed, but the disease spread to his lungs.

He has been told by his GP that he does not yet require Sunitinib but is likely to need it in the future. Only one person, Stephen Dallison, 33, from Oxford, has successfully appealed against the PCT's refusal.

Last month, Mr Johnson said efforts would be made to speed up the approval of new drugs by NICE. In his letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Stone wrote: "We simply do not have the time to wait for this drug to complete its long journey through the bureaucratic process.

"The present position is appalling. We are one of the most highly taxed countries in the world and yet our five-year cancer survival rate is one of the poorest. I am so disappointed that a Labour government and all it stands for can treat its people in this way."

Shumon Rahman, a spokesman for the Department of Health, said: "We received the letter on July 22 and we usually reply within 20 days after receiving the correspondence.

"PCT decisions in the absence of NICE guidance should be based on an assessment of the available evidence."

Dr Ljuba Stirzaker, consultant in healthcare priorities for Oxfordshire PCT, said the PCT's current policy was adopted in January based on the available evidence.

She added: "The Oxfordshire PCT has a process for considering individual applications for treatments which are not normally funded.

"The Oxfordshire PCT's policy on Sunitinib will be reviewed when national guidance or new published medical evidence becomes available."