The story in a nutshell
In 2015 the STAMPEDE trial reported that men with metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body) who were taking docetaxel chemotherapy at the same time as hormone therapy lived for an average of 15 months longer than those taking hormone therapy alone. This is a real game changer in the battle against prostate cancer, and Prostate Cancer UK has been working to speed up the process of ensuring that men who need this treatment can get it.
Men need early access to this drug. Why the delay?
The patent for docetaxel has expired, which means that any pharmaceutical company is free to make and sell the drug. This means that, unlike when a new drug is licensed, there is no commercial incentive for any company to push for earlier docetaxel to be made available . It’s also worth pointing out that, even if this was possible, the timeline for appraisals is often very long. In the absence of a clear-cut pathway to access, we’ve been working closely with researchers, health professionals and commissioners to get things moving.