Tackle is today once more appealing against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to make the life changing drug Degarelix more widely available. Tackle is appealing against the limitation imposed on Degarelix to only be available to men with symptoms of spinal compression, which is quite rare on initial diagnosis. This is the fourth life improving prostate cancer drug that Tackle is in contention with NICE over, which has seen unnecessary limitations or refusals.
The NICE decision overlooks the considerable benefits of this treatment over conventional hormone therapy, especially in reducing the risks of cardio vascular events and the longer time taken for the body to become immune to hormone treatment. Degarelix has been available in the UK from 2009 for men with advanced hormone dependent prostate cancer and was recommended by NICE in their draft guidance for those only at risk or with symptoms of spinal compression, which Tackle previously appealed against. This draft guidance has now been superseded by final guidance that restricts men eligible for treatment with degarelix to only those with symptoms of spinal compression – reducing the number of men eligible from approximately 3,520 to less than 520 patients per year.
David Smith, Honorary Secretary, Tackle said: “Having fibrosis of the lung, my heart has to work harder than it should and the LHRH analogue I take only exacerbates this*. Tackle aims to help make available drugs such as Degarelix which can help improve life and reduce heart problems to many other patients such as myself. NICE keep delaying drug approvals and limiting them seemingly unnecessarily and Tackle will always look to dispute this to help improve and prolong lives.”
Dr. Patrick Davey, cardiologist states: “1 in 3 men with prostate cancer has experienced a cardiovascular event with many medicines raising the risk. Degarelix is associated with significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and its benefits should not only be limited to 520 men.”
Tackle hopes NICE will consider cardiovascular evidence and omit the limitations to help thousands more men to cope with their diagnosis.