We’re delighted with today’s news that abiraterone will be available on the NHS in Scotland for men with advanced prostate cancer, who’ve already had chemotherapy.
This is fantastic for Scottish men with the disease as it brings them in line with the rest of the UK, which has been able to access the drug since the NICE ruling back in May.
This is the second time the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) – which assesses whether drugs offer good value for money – has looked at the drug, having turned it down in March. The pharmaceutical company, Janssen, offered a better deal this time around, which enabled the SMC to say yes.
This is a great decision that we’re really pleased to see. But it has been too long in coming and raised important questions about how drugs are made available across the UK. As we have said before, we need the processes by which medicines are assessed to be streamlined so that patients are not left in limbo. And we need the regulators and pharmaceutical companies to work together to get the best outcome for patients.
Abiraterone is not a cure for prostate cancer, but it can give men with the disease precious extra months of life to spend with friends and family. We’re really proud of our involvement in developing the drug, and in telling NICE, the SMC and Janssen why we think they should work together to get it approved. It is a real success story when years of hard work in the lab turn into effective treatments for patients.
And we couldn’t do any of this without the generous funds from you – our supporters. Thank you.
Elizabeth Gardner August 13, 2012
This drug should be available to all.