A ROMSEY women is fighting the NHS for access to a potentially life-changing drug.

Kate Buckland suffers from a rare lifelong condition called phenylketonuria (PKU), where the body cannot break down the amino acid phenylalanine.

This means the 35-year-old can only eat eight grams of protein a day, and the only treatment available in the UK for PKU is dietary therapy, a restirctive low protein diet.

Failure to keep to this diet can cause result in seizures, severe anxiety and depression.

Kuvan, a drug produced by BioMarin, works to lower the blood phenylalanine concentrations in those who respond to it, and in some cases even tackled the restrictive diet.

A petition has now been started by a group of patient-led activists asking asking BioMarin to lower the price of kuvan has received more than 13,000 signatures.

Kuvan is available in countries across, as well as the rest of the world, and UK sufferers are locked in an ongoing battle with the NHS and BioMarin, urging them to come to an agreement for the drug to be funded through the NHS.

Kate, a mother-of-two, said: "The PKU diet is so restrictive that most people cannot cope with the rigours and burden of the diet, and struggle to adhere beyond adolescence.

"There is very little support in place to help people with PKU cope with the psychological, time and financial burden of PKU.

"Managing the diet is extremely time consuming, frustrating and psychologically difficult too.

"As a mum, it's a real struggle to balance looking after my own health with looking after my family, going to work every day and full time study.

"When I've had too much protein I struggle with debilitating anxiety, tremors, memory issues and executive functioning problems.