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The basis of the CDF’s decision making is fundamentally flawed and as a result men will be undertreated.

Professor Stephen Langley and Professor Chris Eden, Consultant Urological Surgeons at the Royal Surrey and Trustees of The Prostate Project, have renounced NHS England’s decision to withdraw Jevtana (Cabazitaxel), from the Cancer Drug Fund.

“For too long prostate cancer has been the Cinderella of cancers: under resourced and poorly funded” said Professor Langley. Professor Eden agrees saying “ It is quite wrong to deny drugs with proven efficacy to men in this country who are terminally ill when they are available in other European countries, the USA, Australia, New Zealand (the list goes on) and when this ignores medical advice to the contrary”.

Jevtana is manufactured and distributed by global healthcare company Sanofi, whose UK headquarters is in Guildford. It is currently the only treatment for hormone resistant advanced prostate cancer for use after chemotherapy. It costs approximately GBP20,000 per year per patient and has a proven record of life extension for men with no further treatment options. The listed length of time is 3 months although some men have been on treatment for up to 4 years.

Professor Hardev Pandha, also a Prostate Project trustee, who heads a 25 strong cancer research team at the University of Surrey, is a signatory on a letter of complaint from 20 Oncologists to the Cancer Drugs Fund regarding this poor decision. He said “The letter to Peter Clark, Chairman of the CDF, is the only official method of complaint the government are allowing and best way to try and ensure that the door does not shut permanently for this important option for men. The basis of the CDF’s decision making is fundamentally flawed and as a result men will be undertreated. We wont let this rest until the decision is reversed”

The decision to de-list Jevtana is surprising, given that English cancer patients are still faring poorly compared to their European counterparts. Jevtana is available across Europe, with countries under much greater financial pressure than the UK such as Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Romania, Greece and Portugal providing funding. The UK spends less on cancer drugs per inhabitant than in other European countries – especially on newer drugs. In England, this is just 8p a day per person. The Cancer Drugs Fund, set up in 2010 to facilitate better access to cancer drugs, only accounts for 0.3% of the total NHS spend and only 2.5% of the NHS drugs bill.

There is a less than 4-week window remaining during which time NHS England will continue to fund Jevtana. Unless pressure groups can reverse the decision within the deadline, this successful, life-saving drug will be de-listed.


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More information from: Tim Sharp
Email: tim@timothysharp.co.uk Mobile: 07989 865702
Or Katherine Hamersley
Email: k.hammersley@surrey.ac.uk Mobile: 07724 465883

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