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Drug woes

March 2012

Drug woes

Cancer Research UK has renewed calls for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence to rethink its decision on a new prostate cancer drug.
    As the charity marked the first decade since the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign merged to form Cancer Research UK, it asked why the drug, called abiraterone (Zytiga), was pulled because of a failure to agree pricing.
    A statement said, ‘This is a deeply disappointing and frustrating decision. Since it became available last year, abiraterone has become one of the most requested drugs on the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund.
    ‘Both patients and doctors alike value the extra months it gives men with their families, if their prostate cancer comes back after chemotherapy. Chiefly, we’re upset that the healthcare authorities and the drug’s manufacturers, Janssen (part of Johnson & Johnson), can’t agree a fair price for the drug’.

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