Newly licensed prostate cancer drug a ‘welcome addition to a very limited armoury’

  • 11 July 2013

Charity urges health bodies to swiftly make drug routinely available on the NHS 

New drug for the treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer who are no longer responding to hormone therapy or chemotherapy 'enzalutamide' has been licensed for use in Europe, including the UK. The drug, also known as MDV3100 can offer men in the final stages of the disease over four extra months of life on average.

Drew Lindon, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Prostate Cancer UK said: "It is excellent news that enzalutamide can now be prescribed for the treatment of men in the UK with advanced prostate cancer for whom chemotherapy is no longer working. For some men, this drug could offer precious extra time with loved ones, and will be a welcome addition to what is currently a very limited armoury.

"However although enzalutamide can now be prescribed by doctors, a man's local NHS health provider is not obliged to pay for it.  And while men in England can apply for access through the Cancer Drugs Fund, others living elsewhere in the UK could be left at a disadvantage. We urge NICE and the Scottish Medicines Consortium to appraise this drug swiftly, and the pharmaceutical company to set a reasonable price, in the hope that it will soon be recommended and routinely available on the NHS for all those men who need it."