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Prostate cancer drug 'too costly'

Published on 03 February 2012 11:00 AM

Cancer charities are urging a health watchdog to find a solution that will allow a drug which helps extend the lives of men with prostate cancer to be used on the NHS.

The call was made after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said that abiraterone (also called Zytiga) is too expensive for use on the health service, 'even with the discount that the manufacturer has offered'.

The drug had been hailed as a breakthrough in extending the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.

A worldwide trial, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that it extended the survival time of patients by four months on average, and much longer in some cases.

Leading cancer experts said the decision was a 'huge blow' to patients who have very few treatment options available to them.

In a bid to offer them that chance for a longer life, Nice has been urged to work with the drug's manufacturer, Janssen, so that it can be made more widely available to patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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