‘Arise Sir Andy. You have made us all proud’

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THERE was little chance that the well-grounded Andy Murray would let success at the US Open go to his head. Asked about the prospect of a knighthood in response to becoming the first British man in 76 years to win a Grand Slam he said: “I think it should take more than winning a couple of good tournaments to deserve something like that.”

Fair enough, Andy. But the honours system is there to recognise great achievements and by any measure this is certainly that. Remember the English cricket team in 2005? All handed MBEs en masse for beating ONE other team in the Ashes? The England rugby team? All given gongs for winning the World Cup, an admittedly far greater success.

So, if a young boy from soggy Scotland stands alone without team mates in the middle of a tennis court and faces down the greatest players the game has ever seen (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic) in a sport that draws competitors from across the globe, in matches than can last five hours at a time, and that require extreme physical and mental strength does he deserve the biggest gong we can give him? You bet he does. Arise Sir Andy. You have made us all proud.

Too high a price?

no-one could read Paula McIntyre’s plea for other skin cancer patients to be given the same life-extending drug as her beloved husband Scott and fail to be moved.

The McIntyres found that 
Zelboraf was truly a wonder drug which helped terminally-ill Scott live up to six months longer and transformed his quality of life.

Instead of being bed-ridden, he was able to enjoy life with Paula and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Caitlin – and even managed to play golf for charity.

But the Scottish Medicines Consortium has ruled that – at a cost of less than £7000 for four weeks – the drug is too expensive to become a standard treatment in our hospitals.

Its decision comes despite 
Zelboraf being more freely available to patients in England.

Of course, for Scott’s family it is impossible to put a price on those precious extra days they had 
together.

At the same time, the SMC has the equally impossible task of deciding how best the limited funds available to the NHS can best be spent to give the maximum benefit to the most people possible.

Perhaps a Scottish version of the special Cancer Drugs Fund set up by the Government in England to pay for treatments like this which have not been formally approved might be the answer.