12 Jan 2012

The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on the decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) not to recommend the newly licensed chemotherapy drug cabazitaxel as a treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer, which has been shown to significantly extend the lives of men in the advanced stages of the disease.

Commenting on the decision, Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, explains: "This decision is a huge blow to men living with the very advanced stages of prostate cancer who currently have very limited treatment options open to them.

"Cabazitaxel is one of only two licensed drugs available in the UK that offers the hope of precious extra time to men living with advanced prostate cancer.  NICE's decision not to recommend this drug means that men in England and Wales with advanced prostate cancer will find it much harder to access it through the NHS*. We are very concerned that this will lead to a postcode lottery and mean some men will not be able to get cabazitaxel in time for it to benefit them.

"It is essential that men who have been prescribed this drug because their doctors think it will benefit them can still access it on the NHS.  We hope that a review of NICE's recommendation will take place as soon as the drug manufacturers are able to provide more information about the difference this drug can make to the quality of life of men with advanced prostate cancer."

* To access the drug, men in England should be able to use the Cancer Drugs Fund, but men in Wales will have to apply for special funding.

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