The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on launch of a new drug which can help to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer

The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on the launch of new drug, abiraterone, which has now been licensed for use in the UK, and can be prescribed by doctors to help extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, which has stopped responding to existing treatments, by an average of four months.

Owen Sharp, The Prostate Cancer Charity's Chief Executive, explains: "Abiraterone is one of the most important developments for some time in the treatment of men with an advanced form of the disease who are no longer responding to existing treatments. It is particularly encouraging to see that this drug can now be prescribed by doctors who think their patients will benefit from it. We hope that all local health providers will make funds available so that this drug can start to reach those men as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, it is vital that abiraterone is now appraised swiftly by NICE and the SMC, to ensure that guidance on its use in the NHS is available across the UK. Research has shown that abiraterone can increase life by an average of four months, which represents invaluable time with loved ones. We need to see the men who simply cannot afford to wait gain access to this exciting drug as soon as possible."