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Welcome News on NICE U turn on cancer drug

News this week than the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has now changed its stance over the original non-recommendation of Abiraterone for advanced stages of prostate cancer will come as welcome relief to many of our prostate cancer travel insurance customers. Unfortunately this does not include Scotland where the SMC, the equivalent of NICE, will still not recommend the drug.

The decision by NICE to reconsider recommending the drug followed a campaign lead by the Prostate Cancer Charity with the support of John Leech MP. The campaign argued that Abiraterone should be classed as an end of life drug. NICE had originally put it in a different category – this argument was upheld and the drug was put on the recommended list. The decision will allow many men, who can benefit from the drug, precious extra time with their family and friends.

The only disappointment is that another end of life drug called Cabazitaxel has been turned down by NICE. It is regarded as not cost effective, which is a big shame for those men that Abiraterone does not work for or when it ceases to be effective, as there will be no second option. The patients who have received Abiraterone so far say it has give them back their strength and quality of life, and my question would be how could NICE put a price on that or say another drug that could do the same is not cost effective. Extra time with family and friends and renewed quality of life is priceless.


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