Prostate cancer drug 'will not be widely available on the NHS'

A life-extending prostate cancer drug will not be widely available on the NHS, it has been announced.

In final draft guidance reassessing the use of the drug in the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said that abiraterone will continue to only be available to suffers in England after they have undergone chemotherapy.

There is clear evidence that taking the drug before chemotherapy is beneficial for patients, according to The Institute of Cancer Research.

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Prostate cancer drug rejected for wider NHS use

Nice's chief executive said the watchdog was 'disappointed' not to be able to extend the availability of the drug Credit: PA

A life-extending prostate cancer drug will continue to only be available to sufferers who have already undergone chemotherapy, the NHS financial watchdog said.

In final draft guidance reassessing the use in the NHS in England of abiraterone, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) ruled that to extend the availability of the drug was "not cost effective at its current price."

There is "clear evidence" that the use of abiraterone before chemotherapy gives patients "longer healthier lives," according to The Institute of Cancer Research, where the drug was discovered.

Nice's chief executive Sir Andrew Dillion said: "We know how important it is for patient to have the option to delay chemotherapy and its associated side affects, so we are disappointed not to be able to recommend abiraterone for use in this way.

"However, the manufacturer's own economic model demonstrated that the drug does not offer enough benefit to justify its price."

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