The Daily Telegraph

Gene-led prostate cancer treatment ‘ruled out unfairly’

- By Laura Donnelly HEALTH EDITOR

NHS regulators have been accused of stifling innovation by rejecting the first precision treatment for prostate cancer.

Health officials ruled that the drug, which treats men based on the genetic make-up of their cancer, is not costeffect­ive. Cancer experts yesterday accused the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) of “doublecoun­ting” by including the costs of gene tests in the drug’s price.

They said it was not fair that hundreds of men in England would miss out on the treatment, which has already been given the go-ahead in Scotland.

Studies had found that the drug could stall the disease for more than seven months, in men with advanced cases, when standard treatments could only give them three and a half months.

More than 47,500 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and about 11,500 die from it.

The Institute of Cancer Research said it is “especially concerned that [the drug] olaparib seems to have been judged too expensive, in part because of the cost of genetic testing to tailor the drug for patients”.

Nice said the treatment could not be considered a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom