Today, 5th March 2012, ex-England football star Les Ferdinand,
The Sun and The Scottish Sun newspapers have all backed our
campaign to make breakthrough prostate cancer drug abiraterone
available on the NHS to men who need it throughout the UK.
Abiraterone is a new treatment which can extend and enhance the
lives of men in the advanced stages of the disease who have very
few options left available to them. In February The National
Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced its
draft decision not to recommend abiraterone for routine use on the
NHS in England and Wales. It is due to make its final decision in
June. The Sun ran a double page article, including a first person
piece from Les Ferdinand, who lost his grandfather to the disease,
demanding that this 'special pill' be made available to men who
Les said "It is unbelievable to think that men in England and
Wales who want this drug could be denied it because those who are
meant to be looking after our health and the company that made the
drug are squabbling over how much it should cost."
Calling on readers to get behind the campaign he said: "We
have a duty to stand up and fight on behalf of these men who feel
that the Government has turned its back on them. Isn't it time we
gave men who have battled so bravely against prostate cancer a
Meanwhile, north of the border, The Scottish Medicines
Consortium (SMC) has already announced its final decision not to
make the drug available on the NHS in Scotland. The Scottish Sun is
backing our campaign to have the SMC revisit and overturn its
decision, and ran a similarly themed two page spread highlighting
the case of Bob and Margaret Bonthrone from Dollar, longstanding
volunteers with the Charity and members of the Forth Valley
Prostate Cancer Support Group.
Bob told The Scottish Sun: "I'm astonished that the drug has
been turned down by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, and my wife
is devastated. After the announcement came through, the look on her
face said it all. I'm going through more chemotherapy at the
moment, but what do I have to look forward to after that?
"I can't see why a very effective drug that was developed in
Scotland can't be used to help the people of Scotland. It doesn't
seem excessively expensive."
Read the Scottish Sun's full article
Read The Sun's full article highlighting
the position for the rest of the UK.