Men set to lose out in abiraterone tug of war

We are extremely concerned that NICE is once again on the brink of rejecting abiraterone as a first-line treatment for men with high-risk advanced prostate cancer and we need your voice to show the impact this will have for the men caught in the middle. We believe men will lose out now, and in the future, because the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Janssen cannot put their differences aside and think of the men and families at the centre of approving abiraterone. 

Find out why this is important

Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®) is a type of hormone therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Abiraterone is already available to men with late-stage advanced prostate cancer but it has been shown to extend their lives by an average of 15 additional months if given to them earlier. This is crucial for men who cannot have chemotherapy, and unless the decision is reversed, 2,500 men each year will be left with no other treatment options until their cancer progresses. Abiraterone has been approved and is available to men in Scotland, but men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to miss out.

Why is this?
NICE wants to know the benefit of abiraterone in men who cannot tolerate chemotherapy before they approve it, but there's no specific evidence available for this group. If they refuse to be flexible about this evidence, neither abiraterone nor any furture treatments in this space - like apalutamide and enzalutamide - will be approved in the future.

Janssen (drug manufacturer of abiraterone) need to engage with NICE and NHS England to reach an agreement and offer abiraterone at an affordable cost the NHS. So far, they have failed to do so.

We need both parties to recognise the impact that a negative decision on abiraterone would have for men now and for the approval of similar treatments, preventing life-extending drugs from reaching men in the future.

Make sure your voice is heard - add it to the letters being sent to NICE and Janssen:

  • Urging NICE to reconsider the data and evidence they are using to make their final decision.
  • Urging Janssen to think of the men at the heart of this struggle and finally price this treatment at a cost the NHS can afford.
  • Asking both parties to consider how this decision will impact access to future life-extending treatments.

It's easy to do, just complete your details below and hit 'ADD MY NAME'. 

Read the letters in full.

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Letters in full

Letter to Dr Amanda Adler (Chair of Technical Appraisal Committee B) - NICE


Letter to Sarah Scanlon (Business Unit Director) and Amanda Cunnington (HEMAR, public affairs and patient engagement) - Janssen