A Nursing Times investigation reports “thousands of nurses accept payments and benefits from the UK pharmaceutical industry each year, sparking warnings that they should “keep their eyes wide open” in dealings with drugs companies”.

I often wondered why I was given the cold shoulder when I reported horrendous side effects of cancer drugs to the hospital that was treating me. They didn’t want to know, and kept on telling me I was the only person to complain. When they tried to blame massive skin lesions that appeared overnightt on “it’s your age” I went off to France for care.

On my return I was treated like a whistle-blower. The PCAG committee had a ‘Star Chamber’ session where I was told I wasn’t being supportive of the hospital, and I was made to feel a traitor – all because I had pointed out that side effects that appeared shortly after I had been put on certain drugs. were NOT due to my age! When a Consultant went home instead of seeing me for a very important appointment, leaving no apology, I transferred over to King’s College – what a welcome difference. But sadly, due to NHS rules, they can’t go on treating me, so it’s back to the original hospital. This time I stand up for myself, but I wish I didn’t have to!

Now the way I was ostracised all makes sense – but whilst I think medical staff need to know about new drugs, there needs to be more transparency to reassure patients.