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Abiraterone reconsidered by NICE


The drug regulations watchdog for the UK National Health Service (NHS) has published new draft guidance that endorses the prostate cancer hormone therapy abiraterone. 


It is a high-profile move given that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence previously turned down the drug on grounds of cost. A month’s treatment with abiraterone costs about EUR 3800. The drug can extend the lives of patients with advanced prostate cancer by about three months.


NICE Chief Executive Sir Andrew Dillon explained that the organisation reversed its decision following receipt of new information from manufacturer, Janssen.


According to the BBC News website, he said: “During consultation on the draft guidance Janssen, the manufacturer of the drug, submitted further information for the committee to consider.


“This 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.”


The size of the reduction in price has not been disclosed to the public. However, Janssen has revealed that it made significant accommodations.

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