I started this Blog after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2010. It was a way of keeping family and friends informed. It then became a campaigning tool helping to make improvements in hospitals nationally. In 2013 we moved to Johannesburg, setting up our own e-education company. Now we have moved to Bangkok, a great base to explore SE Asia. After surgery 7 years ago my PSA remains at zero, the cancer is still undetectable, and I remain thankful.
Thousands of men could be delayed or denied life-saving new
drugs under plans to cap spending by NHS England, prompting
"serious concern" and an online petition from leading health
and care charities.
Prostate Cancer UK has joined 10 other health and care charities* in calling for NHS England to urgently rethink plans for a new spending cap on treatments, which could see the next generation of life-saving prostate cancer drugs delayed indefinitely from reaching the men who need them.
We're urging everyone to ask NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to reconsider their proposed 'budget impact threshold', which gives the option to postpone any new treatments that would cost more than £20 million in any of the first three years.
Proposals could devastate men with advanced prostate cancer
The restrictions would have meant the breakthrough drugs for advanced prostate cancer, enzalutamide and abriaterone, would have been delayed by negotiations with the manufacturers over costs for many years, arriving in NHS hospitals too late for the thousands of men whose lives they have extended.
"Abiraterone has without question given me several extra years," says Alan Oliver (pictured above with his wife and grandchild), who started taking the hormone therapy drug in 2014.
"It has allowed me to enjoy my four grandchildren, three of whom are now in school, and I just couldn't put a price on this.
"It scares me that if this so-called cost cap comes in then in the future drugs, like abiraterone, would not get through the threshold, and people like me could potentially have the chance of precious time with loved ones held just out of reach."
1-in-5 new treatments could be delayed by cap
These vital 'end-of-life' drugs used by men like Alan already face a stringent and lengthy licensing and approval process, which the government is currently looking to expedite through its Accelerated Access Review and reforms to the Cancer Drugs Fund.
The proposed spending cap would add yet another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy and could stall up to 1-in-5 new treatments currently under review.
"Although we recognise the significant financial challenges facing the NHS, this arbitrary limit is not the solution and we're seriously concerned for the treatments of the future," says Angela Culhane, CEO of Prostate Cancer UK.
"NHS England and NICE need to hear this is unacceptable for patients and come up with a proposal that makes sure patients get the drugs and treatments they need, when they need them."