Abiraterone is a new drug which can extend the lives of men with
incurable prostate cancer which has stopped responding to other
Unfortunately, The National Institute for Health and Clinical
Excellence (NICE) recently published a draft decision not to
recommend abiraterone for use in England and Wales. A final
decision is expected in June 2012. The Scottish Medicines
Consortium (SMC) published their decision in March not to recommend
abiraterone for use on the NHS in Scotland.
Both bodies have recognised the clinical effectiveness of
abiraterone, but feel it is too expensive.
The decisions by NICE and the SMC are a bitter blow to thousands
of men and their families. Abiraterone is one of the biggest
breakthroughs in the treatment of prostate cancer for many years.
It offers men the possibility of extending their lives at a time
when there are no other available treatment options, except those
that just control the symptoms of the disease, such as pain and
The manufacturer (Janssen) has now offered abiraterone at a
reduced cost to the NHS in England and Wales and has resubmitted an
application to the SMC, with the reduced price. The SMC's decision
is expected in August 2012.
You can help us try to reverse these decisions and make
abiraterone available to the men who need it by writing to your MP.
Please visit www.prostate-cancer.org.uk/abiraterone to
email your MP now.
We've also been working to try to change these decisions
- Holding a briefing for MPs, Peers and the media on these issues
in Westminster Parliament to get their support for our
- Working directly with MSPs in Holyrood, to make them aware of
- Sending Freedom of Information requests to the Cancer Drugs
Funds in England to get information about men's current access to
abiraterone. (Most men in England should be able to access
abiraterone through these regional funds before NICE's final
- Writing to Janssen to ask them to do more to make abiraterone
affordable for the NHS.
For more information, please see www.prostate-cancer.org.uk/abiraterone or