MSP backs cancer drug

A NORTH EAST MSP has renewed a call for a breakthrough prostate cancer drug to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.

Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes has welcomed confirmation that Prostate Cancer UK’s campaigning for abiraterone has led to its approval in Northern Irleand following the go-ahead in England and Wales.

It means theat Scotland is now the only UK country where the life extending and life enhancing drug has not been approved for use on the NHS.

Mrs McInnes said: “Abiraterone is a breakthrough prostate cancer drug which can extend the lives of men with incurable prostate cancer and improve their quality of life.

“This successful treatment was developed in the UK. The current situation should not continue, which is why I back Prostate Cancer UK’s appeal to the Scottish Medicines Consortium to overturn its original decision.”

The outcome is due to be announced on Monday of next week.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of Prostate Cancer UK (formerly The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: “News that abiraterone has been approved for use in the NHS in England, Wales and now Northern Ireland represents a resounding triumph for the thousands of men with advanced prostate cancer who campaigned long and hard for its availability.

“However, our delight for men in these countries is matched only by our dismay that Scotland remains out on a limb as the only country in the UK where men with incurable prostate cancer continue to be denied access to abiraterone on the NHS.

“The decision simply must be overturned, and we are delighted that Mrs McInnes has joined a growing cross-party coalition of MSPs calling for exactly that outcome.”