Nice's decision to withhold a breakthrough prostate cancer drug is a "cruel twist" as it comes "just days" after a study confirmed its success, campaigners have said.
Prostate Cancer UK called on Nice, who vet the cost effectiveness of medicine for NHS patients, to change its "post-chemo" policy on new drugs.
Enzalutamide is already licensed for those who've had chemotherapy but this trial will hopefully establish a robust base of evidence to demonstrate that it should be available beforehand.
This is good news but sadly won't help the one man an hour who dies of prostate cancer at present.
We need to see drugs like enzalutamide available sooner rather than later, and so it's a cruel twist that this study comes just days after Nice ruled out the drug for men who have already had chemotherapy and the only other drug available at this stage, abiraterone.
– Mikis Euripides, policy director at Prostate Cancer UK
A spokeswoman for Nice said the committee were unable to "draw any conclusions" about what would happen if "milestone" enzalutamide was used by prostate cancer sufferers who had also taken abiraterone.
In the trial data provided by the manufacturer of enzalutamide none of the patients had received previous treatment with abiraterone, therefore the committee was not able to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of enzalutamide after previous abiraterone treatment, and this is reflected in the recommendations.
We would welcome any additional data the manufacturer of enzalutamide can provide.