NICE rejection of use of Abiraterone for men with newly-diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer in England and Wales
Monday, 6th July 2020
You may have already found out that a recent decision has been made by NICE not to approve the use of abiraterone as an additional treatment with hormone therapy in men newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in England and Wales. This was being appraised as an alternative to the current standard of treatment regime which combines hormone therapy and docetaxel.
There is a group of men who are unable to have docetaxel for clinical reasons – sometimes purely on medical grounds but often that, because of their age, they cannot tolerate the side effects of docetaxel. They are also men who would opt NOT to have chemotherapy if that were possible even thought they were fit enough to have it.
The decision by NICE effectively prevents some men from having optimal therapy.
The Final Appraisal Document (FAD) by NICE is lengthy (20 pages) and one which non-clinical people may find difficult to understand. However, this decision could be pivotal for the future of other drugs that could be used in the future in this clinical scenario. Tackle think it is important that our members are kept fully informed. Equally important is ensuring that this decision gets challenged and the views of patients are made as public as possible. To that end, we attach two documents:
- A brief summary of the FAD explaining the reasons for the refusal. It also outlines plans for an appeal against the decision. I have already been in initial consultation with Prostate Cancer UK concerning this and we plan to make a joint appeal from both charities.
- A second document outlines some further thoughts and comments about the decision. Because the appeals process is very rigid, some of the comments I feel we should make on behalf of patients are unlikely to fit within the requirements of an appeal and also may not be acceptable to Prostate Cancer UK as part of a joint document. However, we do feel we should highlight our patients’ voices and reflect what they are likely to be saying. To that end Tackle are planning to send this second document to NICE independently of our joint appeal with Prostate Cancer UK.
Whilst the second document is unlikely to be considered as part of the official appeals process, Tackle believe that NICE should be made aware of the views of patients. It would certainly add weight to this if such a communication were to be co-signed by many stakeholders who represent patients.
This is an important and negative step in the future management of men with prostate cancer. We would ask you to encourage all of your members to read these documents.
Any comments or enquiries should be directed to me email@example.com or 07809 563 879.
Tackle Patient Representative
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