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NHS Scotland recommends Janssen's Zytiga combo for newly diagnosed prostate cancer

Published on 13/01/20 at 02:59pm

Janssen’s Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) has just been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), meaning that male patients on the NHS in Scotland will now be able to access the drug in combination with prednisone or prednisolone plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for the treatment of newly diagnosed high-risk, metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC).

The most common cancer in UK men, there are around 47,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the country every year. Around 3,518 of these occur in Scotland each year, and it’s estimated that around 460 Scottish patients will be eligible to receive the Zytiga combo.

The SMC reached the ruling on the back of data showing that the combo demonstrated a “statistically significant improvement” in red blood cell transfusion independence (RBC-TI) for eight or more weeks in the first 24 weeks after receiving treatment, meeting the study’s primary endpoint.

Additionally, the study met its secondary endpoint of RBC-TI for at least 12 weeks within the first 24 or 48 weeks.

“This is a landmark decision which has the potential for positively changing the lives of men in Scotland who have advanced prostate cancer when first diagnosed,” explained Steve Allen, Patient Representative at Tackle Prostate Cancer. “They now have a choice of therapy that can be used in addition to standard hormone therapy. The SMC are to be applauded for this decision which will allow these patients to have an improved quality of life.”

Jennifer Lee, Director of Health Economics, Market Access and Reimbursement (HEMAR) and Advocacy at Janssen UK, remarked: "Janssen is pleased that the SMC has accepted abiraterone for use within NHS Scotland for eligible patients and applauds the SMC’s pragmatic approach and flexibility in reaching this positive recommendation so quickly. We recognise this outcome results in a discrepancy in access between patients in Scotland and those in the rest of the UK and are currently working closely with NICE to ensure that men who need it will also be able to access abiraterone routinely within the NHS before their disease progresses.”

Matt Fellows

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