NICE makes U-turn on prostate drug
Published on 16 May 2012 11:30 AM
The NHS drug regulator has given the thumbs up to a treatment for patients suffering from prostate cancer following fresh data from the drug's manufacturers.
Experts have welcomed the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) approval of Zytiga (otherwise known as Abirateron), which is manufactured by Janssen, in a U-turn decision which means healthcare workers can administer the drugs to NHS patients with advanced cases of the condition.
Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, welcomed the news and said: 'This drug was discovered at the Institute of Cancer Research and is the result of more than two decades of dedicated work by our scientists and collaborators.
'In clinical trials of men with advanced prostate cancer who have already tried chemotherapy, it has been shown to extend life by an average of four months and improve quality of life.'
An estimated 37,000 British men are diagnosed with the disease every year and the mortality rate is 10,000. It is believed to be the second most common cause of death by cancer in males in the UK at just more than a tenth (13%).
NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: 'We are very pleased that Janssen's submission to our consultation means that we are able to produce draft guidance recommending Abirateron - it is an effective treatment, potentially extending life by more than three months, and it also allows patients to be treated at home as it can be taken orally.'
Copyright Press Association 2012