Today, Tackle is incensed about the decision that yet another vital advanced prostate cancer drug is no longer being recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Following several limitations and removals of drugs from public availability over the past two years, Tackle feels men with advanced prostate cancer are being left with limited or sometimes no options for treatment.
Tackle’s Chief Executive, Rowena Bartlett commented: “We at Tackle feel it is hugely disappointing that in taking this decision on DEGARELIX, NICE have failed to recognise the benefits to patients receiving the drug. DEGARELIX causes rapid testosterone suppression within 24 hours, which is particularly beneficial for patients with bone pain, at risk of spinal cord compression or pathological fracture.
‘It is also beneficial for patients with hydronephrosis secondary to lymphadenopathy. It was never suggested that this drug would be suitable for all patients but those with symptomatic advanced disease. The alternative drugs take nearly four weeks to suppress testosterone to the same level. In terms of price, the cost is comparable to LHRLH agonist when the NHS discount is applied. To have another drug available in the armory to treat prostate cancer can only be of benefit for patients. The fact that NICE cannot define a group of patients for whom DEGARELIX is suitable is not in line with current UK practice and NICE continues to appear to alienate itself; being out of touch with clinicians and patients.”