Policy in action

See how the Prostate Cancer UK Policy team are working behind the scenes to help more men survive prostate cancer and have a better quality of life.

May 2013

Prostate Cancer UK has conducted a survey on men's views and experiences of active surveillance. The increase in PSA testing taking place in the UK has meant that more men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer at an earlier stage and are offered active surveillance. Active surveillance can reduce unnecessary treatment and potential side effects but comes with the emotional burden of living with prostate cancer. Few studies have looked into the preferences and decisions of men when first diagnosed with prostate cancer and offered active surveillance, so we have conducted our own report, the results of which you can see here.  

February 2013

Suspension of NICE abiraterone appraisal

On 15 February 2013, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced it had suspended its appraisal of abiraterone for men with incurable prostate cancer who have not yet had chemotherapy. The suspension occurred as the manufacturers have requested more time to make their submission. The manufacturers hope to submit their evidence by the end of 2013. You can read the press release from NICE on their website.

Prostate Cancer UK are disappointed that NICE have been forced to push back its appraisal of abiraterone for men with incurable prostate cancer who have not yet had chemotherapy. 

Prostate Cancer UK consultation responses

Since the beginning of 2013, Prostate Cancer UK have responded to a number of consultations relating to prostate cancer, ensuring that men with prostate cancer's voices are heard:

  • the NHS Commissioning Board, who will take over commissioning for cancer services in April 2013, released a consultation on urological cancers and brachytherapy services
  • the Department of Health released a consultation on amendments to the NHS constitution
  • the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence released a consultation on indicators for clinical commissioning groups to monitor and report on.

Read all of our submissions here.

Cancer Patient Experience Survey Scotland

Prostate Cancer UK is undertaking the first ever national experience survey of men with prostate cancer in Scotland. Thanks to the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey we have a wealth of information on the treatment experience of men with prostate cancer in England, but there is very little data available on men living with the disease in Scotland. We will be publishing our interim findings by the end of March 2013 with a full report to follow later. We also welcome that Macmillan will be carrying out a national cancer patient experience in Wales and Northern Ireland. 

If you live in Scotland and have received treatment for prostate cancer please take part in the study.

Patient voice to be involved in value based pricing discussions

The Department of Health and ABPI have released a joint statement announcing that crucial talks on changes to the UK-wide system for pricing and assessing new drugs will  be opened up. Prostate Cancer UK are leading a coalition of charities to ensure that the patient voice is not lost during crucial discussions on the new pricing system for drugs, which has potentially major implications for patients' access to medicines. This development is excellent news and we look forward to greater involvement from patients from now on.

If you have any questions about anything in Policy in action, or would like to hear about other work we are doing, please contact us on policy@prostatecanceruk.org.