NICE reverses decision on prostate cancer treatment

 NICE’s decision to recommend the use of Zytiga (abiraterone) in final guidance to treat prostate cancer has left Janssen “delighted”.

The treatment originally failed to get backing from NICE in combination with prednisone or prednisolone after the Institute deemed it to be too expensive – despite its clinical benefits.

However, after Janssen provided additional patient data and a revised Patient Access Scheme (PAS), NICE said it was happy to recommend the treatment as an option for the NHS.

Martin Price, External Affairs Director, Janssen UK, said the company had gone to “significant lengths” to find a solution that allows patients to be treated with the “innovative, UK discovered medicine, routinely on the NHS”.

The decision to recommend the treatment has also been backed by Dr Heather Payne, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, University College London Hospitals. She commented: “This is good news for patients – for whom historically there have been few treatment options available – and also for the patients’ families.”

Zytiga may potentially extend the lives of patients by more than three months. It is now recommended in combination with prednisone or prednisolone as a treatment option for castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer that has progressed on or after one docetaxel-containing therapy.