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Prostate cancer NICE decision 'makes no sense'

2 Feb 2012 11:27

As you may have heard, the drugs watchdog NICE has given a preliminary `no' to abiraterone, a new prostate cancer drug, because the manufacturers have set the price too high. We hope that the situation can be changed, but we're frustrated that this situation has been allowed to happen.

Since it became available last year, abiraterone has become one of the most requested drugs on the NHS. Both patients and doctors alike value the extra months it gives men with their families, if their prostate cancer comes back after chemotherapy.

Cancer Research UK played a key role in this drug's development, from pioneering lab work, through pre-clinical studies, all the way up to early patient trials. Find out why, and how we helped develop the drug, in the video and on our blog,  and please do let us know what YOU think

Re: Prostate cancer NICE decision 'makes no sense'

2 Feb 2012 11:52 in response to Moderator Sarah

OK So NICE have pulled the plug on a new prostate cancer drug. Do they not realise that Cancer Research UK spent a pile of cash, our cash, fundraiser's cash, in to this so they can come up with the new drugs. NICE then send some bloke in a suit and armed with nothing more medical than an  Excel spread sheet. Talk about "Computer says no!" Scandalous! We all need to tighten our belts, drug companies should look at this long and hard to reduce the price they put on these life saving drugs. I wouldn't be at all surprised if their shares went up a tad too "Oooo cure for a cancer! Come on lads PUB!"

Slap in the face for supporters of CRUK and Prostate Cancer UK, all because of money. Money WE raise or pay in TAX.

Re: Prostate cancer NICE decision 'makes no sense'

2 Feb 2012 11:55 in response to Moderator Sarah

Hi Sarah

I read this article earlier and was disgusted to be honest. There was an initial hope that my Dad could have been put on arbiterone but he wasn't suitable as he was transfusion dependant , however if it had been the case that he was suitable and couldnt get it on financial grounds I think it would have no doubt added to our distress and heartbreak. What has the world come to that finances are now more important than people having extra time with their loved ones. Drug companies increasing their profits on the back of the back of terminal illness,, people with their last hope for a few extra months. It makes me so mad.

hopefully this decision will be changed for all the men who in the future can benefit from this drug


Good news for patients with advanced prostate cancer

16 May 2012 10:26 in response to Moderator Sarah

Further to my earlier post in February (above), we're pleased to announce today that NICE have overturned their earlier decision and now recommend abiraterone for advanced prostate cancer. Fantastic!

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "This is wonderful news for patients with advanced prostate cancer and, in part, this U-turn is down to the public's disappointment at the initial refusal. "People's donations have allowed Cancer Research UK to fund the discovery and early development of abiraterone - now they've also helped to ensure prostate cancer patients get access to this important treatment by making their voices heard."

You can read the full story at

I'd be interested to know if anyone has been prescribed the drug or thinks they may now have the opportunity to get it prescribed?

Re: Good news for patients with advanced prostate cancer

17 May 2012 12:46 in response to Moderator Sarah

This is very good news, and a completely unprecedented move by NICE. As far as I am aware, Abiraterone is still not approved in Scotland, although Northern Ireland look set to benefit from this decision. We certainly need to make certain that ALL of the UK can benefit here.

Next job, to get Cabazitaxel approved

I personally know some men that have had Abiraterone, funded via the Cancer Treatment Fund., post chemo failure.



Prostate cancer NICE decision 'makes no sense'

22 Mar 2016 11:23 in response to Moderator Sarah

Some more news about Abiraterone...

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today approved abiraterone for men with advanced prostate cancer before they’ve had chemotherapy. This is great news – it was only previously available after chemo in England - and comes after decades of research, which you can read more about on our blog:

Prostate cancer NICE decision 'makes no sense'

22 Mar 2016 14:18 in response to Moderator Sarah

I have mixed feelings about this type of scenario, to be honest, having seen at first hand the pressure and incentives the big pharma companies put on doctors (especially GPs) to order their latest drugs and avoid using loss costly alternatives. Getting desperate patients to do their marketing for them when the only sticking point is the price they charge (and subsequently the profit they make)  sometimes feels very close to emotional blackmail. 

On the other hand, NICE do seem to be very slow in approving new drugs, not always on cost grounds, and the gap between promising trials and general availability often seems ridiculously long. 

It's good to see that they eventually made the right decision.