Challenge NICE on enzalutamide

Challenge NICE on enzalutamide

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) have announced  that men with advanced prostate cancer will be able to get enzalutamide after they've had chemotherapy, but only if they haven't had abiraterone first.

This decision is very unfair and will mean that men and their doctors will have to make an agonising decision about which treatment to try at an already very difficult time. Men with advanced prostate cancer do not have a lot of treatment options, and we don't think NICE should be placing this restriction on them.

We have responded to the consultation, and on 19 March we attended the NICE committee meeting to make our case for the restriction to be removed.

Please help us further by signing and sharing our petition. This will take less than two minutes, but could make a huge difference to the men affected by this decision.

This decision will have an impact on men in England, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland. The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved enzalutamide without this restriction.

Access to new treatments

We keep a close eye on new drugs that could provide much needed treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer. We work with volunteers who attend NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) appraisal meetings to ensure the voices of men affected by prostate cancer are heard. We continue to push the SMC (Scottish Medicines Consortium) to make their decision processes more open and accessible to people affected by them.

Following our successful and award winning campaign to get abiraterone approved on the NHS for men who’ve already had chemotherapy in 2012, we worked with volunteers to make the case for the drug enzalutamide to be available on the NHS in 2013. We’re delighted to say that the SMC backed our position and has now approved the drug for use in Scotland for men who’ve had chemotherapy.

As well as several drugs currently in clinical trials, there are two more drugs that are being assessed at the moment. These are radium-223 chloride and degarelix. Abiraterone pre-chemotherapy is also likely to be assessed this year. We’re involved in these appraisals and are always keen to hear from people who would like to feed in. Please contact lizzie.flew@prostatecanceruk.org to find out more.

In cases where drugs are not approved to be paid for on the NHS, in England it is possible to get them through the temporary Cancer Drugs Fund. Last year, the Prime Minister announced that the Cancer Drugs Fund will be extended to 2016. Although this is good news for men in England in the short-term, we think this is situation is unfair for men in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is not a sustainable solution for men in England. We’re calling for the government to do more to make sure that all men can access the medicines they need.