Prostate cancer drug Zytiga approved by Nice

16 May 2012

A health watchdog has recommended that a drug to treat people with advanced prostate cancer should be provided on the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) believes that Abirateron – which is marketed as Zytiga – has the means to advance the life of patients with the late-stage cancer by more than three months.

Praise for the drug was delivered following the release of new information by manufacturer Janssen, which has been detailed by Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of Nice.

He explained that the draft guidance "included a revised patient access scheme which involves providing the drug to the NHS at a discounted price, further information on which patients would benefit most and clarification on how many patients could receive the drug".

Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, expressed that he was "delighted" that Zytiga has been approved.

"In clinical trials of men with advanced prostate cancer who have already tried chemotherapy, it has been shown to extend life by an average of four months and improve quality of life," he noted.

Prostate cancer is still a major health concern across Britain, with Cancer Research UK finding that more than 40,000 men were diagnosed with the disease in 2009 alone.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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