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Abiraterone 'ruled too expensive' by SMC

A drug which is often the only prostate cancer treatment for men with advances stages of the disease has been ruled too expensive by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The group acknowledged that Abiraterone was clinically effective, but believes the medicine is not good value for money for the NHS.

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, said: "Abiraterone is an important treatment because patients and doctors value the extra months of life it can give if prostate cancer has come back after chemotherapy."

The drug will now only be available in Scotland as part of clinical trials or via Individual Patient Requests. In England, sufferers can use the Cancer Drugs Fund to gain access to Abiraterone treatment until a final decision is made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Abiraterone is effective as it blocks an enzyme which the body needs to produce testosterone – a hormone that the cancer needs to grow.

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Abiraterone 'ruled too expensive' by SMC
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