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Not so NICE for New Prostrate Cancer Drug

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A new drug that’s been developed for those suffering from advanced stages of prostate cancer has been deemed ‘too expensive’ by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The drug, called cabazitaxel, has been proven to extend life for a period of around two months in those whom other treatments have stopped working.  It has only just been licensed in the UK, and is one which the Prostate Cancer Charity says is an important treatment that can allow men to spend precious extra time with their families.

However, at around £22,000 per patient, NICE have said this is not a valid way to spend dwindling NHS resources.  They also stated that they were concerned with various side effects that occurred during the drugs clinical trials.

This is a further blow for cancer patients, following on the heels of the report issued by The Lancet Oncology.  This has warned that developing countries are simply becoming unable to cope with the cost of cancer care in terminally ill patients.  It stated that it makes no sense to give expensive and ‘toxic’ treatments to patients in the last few weeks of their lives.

In trials, cabazitaxel given alongside prednisone extended life for an average of 10 weeks.  But there is concern about the effects of the drug on the heart and liver.

Following the ruling by NICE, anyone who wishes to undergo treatment with cabazitaxel must apply thought the Cancer Drug Fund.

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