Published on 21/02/2012
Abiraterone, one of the few drugs available to men in the final stages of prostate cancer, will be funded for free by the Welsh NHS.
Abiraterone has already been turned down for use on the English NHS by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for not being ‘cost effective’. Patients without private medical insurance in England will need to apply through the Cancer Drugs Fund if they want access to the drug.
However, health insurers AXA PPP, Aviva and Bupa have each come forward to offer cover for abiraterone for their customers.
And now the Welsh equivalent of NICE, the Wales Medicines Strategy Group, has approved the use of abiraterone for men in the terminal stages of prostate cancer on the Welsh NHS.
More than 10,000 die of prostate cancer in the UK each year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in men.
Trials have shown that patients taking the pills with steroids survived for nearly 15 months compared to those given steroids and dummy pills who lived for 11 months on average.
But some patients with advanced prostate cancer have lived for as long as four years with the drug.
NICE’s controversial decision not to fund abiraterone has shocked charities across the UK, which say that the drug could help many patients in the final stages of the disease.
With lifesaving drugs only accessible through the Cancer Drugs Fund in England, compare health insurance policies online now to make sure you are covered if the worst should happen.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals