NICE rejects use of Abiraterone for men with newly-diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer

Tackle is extremely disappointed to report the latest decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to reject the use of Abiraterone for men with newly-diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer in England and Wales.

Current first-line treatment for men with newly-diagnosed metastatic hormone sensitive prostate cancer (ndmhsPCa) is hormone therapy with additional chemotherapy (Docetaxel).  However there are many men who are unable to tolerate Docetaxel and, for them, there is a great unmet clinical need.  Abiraterone would have met that unmet need but this latest decision by NICE effectively prevents its use within the NHS.  For these men there is no choice: it is still hormone therapy only.

NICE do not deny that Abiraterone is at least as effective as Docetaxel when used in men with ndmhsPCa.  Their decision would appear to be have been made purely on the grounds of cost effectiveness and not on clinical effectiveness. 

This decision is directly in opposition to that made by the Scottish Medicines Commission earlier.  There is therefore now a disparity in availability of treatment depending on where in the UK the patient lives.

Tackle are already working in close collaboration with Prostate Cancer UK to lodge an appeal against this decision.  Read our Summary of the NICE decision and our Comments on it

if you are a patient who feels their treatment could be affected by this decision, then please do contact us via our patient representative:  [email protected] 

Please note that this latest decision will not affect men who have already commenced therapy with Abiraterone instead of Docetaxel as a result of the Covid crisis.


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