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Abiraterone launched in the UK for patients with private health insurance

Published on 21/09/2011

Abiraterone, a life-prolonging drug for sufferers of prostate cancer, was officially launched in the UK today, and could be available in the future for patients with private health insurance.

Marketed under the name Zytiga, Abiraterone received a European Union license two weeks ago, making it a legal medicine, but it is only today that it has become available to patients.

Testosterone encourages the growth of prostate cancer. The drug works by blocking the generation of testosterone in tumours.

More than 10,000 die of the disease in the UK each year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in men.

Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the ICR, said: "This drug will make a significant impact on the treatment of men suffering advanced prostate cancer.

"Abiraterone acetate gives doctors another important treatment option and we hope that it will play a part in one day turning prostate cancer into a chronic, rather than life-threatening, disease."

Professor Johan de Bono, from the ICR, said: "There are only a small handful of drugs available that can extend life for men with advanced prostate cancer.

"Clinical trials have proven that abiraterone acetate can not only prolong life, but in some men it can improve their quality of life.

Abiraterone recently hit the headlines for extending the life of aeroplane bomber Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi for two years longer than predicted.

The drug has still not been assessed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence as to whether it will be made widely available on the NHS.

However, patients with certain private medical cover policies will have access to approved drugs too expensive for the NHS.

Compare private medical insurance policies online now to see whether you could be treated with abiraterone in the future.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
Abiraterone launched in the UK for patients with private health insuranceAbiraterone, a life-prolonging drug for sufferers of prostate cancer, was officially launched in the UK today, and could be available in the    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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