Cabazitaxel chemotherapy has been rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for routine use on the NHS in Scotland, it has been announced today. The treatment, which was originally rejected back in 2011, had been under reappraisal following additional evidence submitted by the manufacturer.
The SMC found once again that cabazitaxel failed to provide enough clinical benefit to justify its cost. This is at direct odds with the decision made by NICE for men in England and Wales, following their own recent reappraisal of the treatment, which was based on the same evidence. Today’s decision therefore leaves men with advanced prostate cancer across Scotland at a disadvantage simply because of where in the UK they live.
Heather Blake, our Director of Support and Influencing, says: "For some men with advanced prostate cancer, cabazitaxel chemotherapy is the only remaining treatment choice after other treatments have stopped working.
Today’s decision is grossly unfair and baffling, given that the information presented at both appraisals was the same
"Today’s decision robs these men in Scotland of precious extra time with loved ones, while men in a similar situation in England and Wales are given access. This is grossly unfair and baffling, given that the information presented at both appraisals was the same.
"We want to see cabazitaxel made routinely available to the men who will benefit as quickly as possible, wherever they are in the UK. We therefore urge the SMC and the manufacturer to do everything in their power to get this treatment approved. Unequal access to treatments cannot continue if we’re to really make improvements to men’s health across the UK."
Cabazitaxel chemotherapy was appraised by the SMC for men who have received docetaxel chemotherapy.
Disappointingly, there were no announcements in the Budget that specifically support men with prostate cancer. But Philip Hammond did announce additional funding for NHS England. Our policy manager, Tim Windle, reflects on a missed opportunity and outlines what NHS England and the devolved nations must do now to improve the future for men with prostate cancer.