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Experts condemn “flawed” NICE process over its rejection of prostate cancer drug

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5224 (Published 19 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5224
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Experts have reacted angrily to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which rejected a drug that can extend the life of men with prostate cancer and delay the need for chemotherapy.

On 15 August NICE published its final draft guidance1 on using the drug abiraterone (marketed in the United Kingdom as Zytiga and manufactured by Janssen) before chemotherapy in men with advanced prostate cancer. The institute said that it was not recommending abiraterone for prostate cancer in people who had received hormone therapy but whose disease has spread, if they had few symptoms and chemotherapy would not yet have been given.

Currently, abiraterone is given to patients at the end of life after chemotherapy, to give them …

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