In politics, there are some great days when what you campaign for is exactly what happens. Today's announcement of NICE's U-turn on the use of arbiraterone for Prostate Cancer sufferer is one of those days.
Some 32,500 men are diagnosed and 10,000 men die from prostate cancer each year in England and Wales. Tests show that abiraterone would improve the quality of life for many of these men, and on average extend life by four months.
I am delighted that the campaign to get the drug available on the NHS has been successful. This is down to the hard work of the Prostate Cancer Charity along with the Members of Parliament who supported me in calling for NICE to think again.
The manufacturers dropping the price also made a big difference.
I blogged about arbiraterone at the start of February
And working closely with the Prostate Cancer Charity I submitted EDM 2706
as well as hosting an event in Parliament to spread awareness of the campaign among fellow MPs I also pressed Ministers on the decision through Parliamentary Questions in the House of Commons.
Owen Sharp Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity said:
“John Leech MP has done a huge amount to raise the profile of this issue in parliament and we are extremely grateful to him for all his support.
I am certain that his hard work behind the scenes has proved invaluable to the success of this campaign.”
The news means that suitable men whose cancer has stopped responding to other hormone therapy and chemotherapy will be able to receive the drug without having to make an application through the Cancer Drugs Fund.