29 May 2015

In another strange twist in the long and winding tale of access to cancer drugs in England, we’ve recently learnt that cabazitaxel (trade name Jevtana®) is now back on the Cancer Drugs Fund list, even though it was delisted in January this year, and made unavailable on the Fund in March.

Cabazitaxel is a type of chemotherapy, suitable for some men with advanced, hormone-resistant prostate cancer, who have already been treated with docetaxel chemotherapy. It can’t cure advanced prostate cancer, but it may prolong life and help to control symptoms.

Back in January, NHS England decided that the evidence provided by Sanofi, cabazitaxel’s manufacturer, didn’t demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of this end of life treatment. However, Sanofi now wants NICE to reappraise cabazitaxel’s cost-effectiveness for use on the NHS in light of some new evidence and a confidential price negotiation.

The NICE reappraisal will take place later this year, and until their decision is published, cabazitaxel will continue to be available in England on the Cancer Drugs Fund. This is good news for men with prostate cancer, and their doctors, who now have another treatment option restored to them. NICE’s equivalent in Scotland, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), will also be carrying out a reappraisal of cabazitaxel later this year.

We’ll keep you updated on the ins and outs of this story as they happen and, in the meantime, rest assured we’ll continue our work with other cancer charities, NHS England, the Department of Health, the pharmaceutical industry and NICE to find a way to streamline the drug appraisal system to improve access to innovative new treatments and to keep men with prostate cancer at the centre of the decisions. 

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