Following discussions with The Prostate Cancer Charity, I have submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM 2706) asking the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) to overturn its draft ruling that the drug abiraterone, which can prolong life for men in the later stages prostate cancer, will not be offered by the NHS due to costs.
Some 32,500 men are diagnosed and 10,000 men die from prostate cancer each year in England and Wales. Tests show that abiraterone would improve the quality of life for many of these men, and on average extend life by four months.
NICE do allow some more expensive drugs than abiraterone to be used, but because this drug can help more people, they say it will cost too much. I think that is wrong.
I hope that NICE will change its mind. Overturning this decision would prolong and improved the quality of life for 10,000 men each year.
As I said, The Prostate Cancer Charity are supporting my EDM.
Owen Sharp, their Chief Executive, has issued the following statement:
“We welcome Early Day Motion  urging NICE to reconsider its draft decision, which recommends that abiraterone should not be made available on the NHS.
“Abiraterone is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of prostate cancer for many years. It not only offers men in the final stages of the disease precious extra months with loved ones, but also improves their quality of life. We are concerned that NICE’s decision will mean these men, who already have very few options available to them, will be prevented from accessing a proven effective treatment and could face a postcode lottery in accessing it.
“We hope MPs of all parties show their support for men with prostate cancer by signing this Early Day Motion and are glad this issue has been bought to the attention of Parliament.”