Prostate Cancer UK (formerly The Prostate Cancer Charity) has renewed its call for the breakthrough prostate cancer drug abiraterone to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.
It comes on the back of news that Scotland is now the only country in the UK where the life extending and life enhancing drug has not been approved for use on the NHS, following the approval of the drug in Northern Ireland.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “News that abiraterone has been approved for use in the NHS in England, Wales and now Northern Ireland represents a resounding triumph for the thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer who campaigned long and hard for its availability.
“However our delight for men in these countries is matched only by our dismay that Scotland remains out on a limb as the only country in the UK where men with incurable prostate cancer continue to be routinely denied access to abiraterone on the NHS.
“The Scottish Medicines Consortium’s (SMC) original decision to reject abiraterone on the NHS in March was a bitter blow to hundreds of men dying of prostate cancer north of the border. Prostate Cancer UK will not rest until men have access to the drugs they need, regardless of where they live in the UK.
“Abiraterone can significantly reduce pain and other symptoms as well as extend life by an average of 4 months. Such outcomes are just as invaluable to men in Scotland as they are to men in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. When the SMC announces its revised appraisal of abiraterone in August all eyes will be on it to ensure this anti-Scottish anomaly is ironed out once and for all.”
Prostate Cancer UK has established a webpage for those who wish to support the campaign for abiraterone to be made available on the NHS in Scotland. For more information, or to get involved, please visit: www.prostatecanceruk.org/smc
If you have any queries about prostate cancer, call Prostate Cancer UK’s confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383. The helpline, which is staffed by specialist nurses, is open from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Friday and from 7 - 9pm on Wednesdays. Alternatively please visit: www.prostatecanceruk.org