12 Mar 2012

The Prostate Cancer Charity has criticised the Scottish Medicines Consortium's (SMC) decision not to recommend abiraterone for use on the NHS in Scotland. It follows the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) draft decision to deny the drug for men on the NHS in England and Wales.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "The SMC's decision to deny abiraterone on the NHS in Scotland is a cruel swipe to hundreds of men dying of prostate cancer.

"The SMC's decision to deny this breakthrough drug to men across the country must be overturned as a matter of urgency. In very simple terms, this drug allows men to spend precious extra time with family and loved ones. It is simply unjust that the SMC has made this decision, especially after a closed process that denies these men even the opportunity to have a voice or to appeal.

"This decision sends yet another clear message that investing in treatments for men and prostate cancer is simply not a priority for the NHS in Scotland. Those in charge of making these decisions - including the drug company - seem to be focussed only on the price of a drug rather than its value or the needs of men.

"We have some hope that NICE may reverse its decision on review, a luxury not afforded to Scottish men. We urge the SMC to urgently reconsider their ruling on this lifeline drug."

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