GUILDFORD, England, February 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Removing Jevtana (cabazitaxel) from the Cancer Drugs Fund means that from 12th March, some men with hormone resistant advanced prostate cancer have been left with no treatment options following initial chemotherapy
Today marks World Cancer Day, which this year focuses on 'achieving treatment for all'. However, in less than five weeks' time, men with hormone resistant advanced prostate cancer in England who could benefit from Jevtana (cabazitaxel) will not be able to access it. This is as a result of a decision made by NHS England last month to de-list it from the Cancer Drugs Fund. Jevtana fulfills an important unmet need in certain patients and has been proven to extend survival in advanced prostate cancer. By de-listing this drug, NHS England is denying some patients with no other options, access to a vital, life-changing treatment.
Recent findings published by the Office for National Statistics demonstrate that more men with prostate cancer are surviving for longer (five years after diagnosis - 87.6% in 2013 vs 83.6% in 2008). However, in time, some prostate cancers become resistant to hormone therapy and continue to grow despite treatment. Jevtana is the only active treatment option for advanced prostate cancer which is not responsive to available hormonal therapies following initial chemotherapy (with docetaxel).,,
The decision to de-list Jevtana and another 25 uses of cancer medicines is surprising, given that English cancer patients are still faring poorly compared to their European counterparts. The gap in 5-year cancer survival rates between England and the European average has remained at about 10% since 1994. 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.-
Dr. Alison Birtle, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commented "It's deeply distressing that on World Cancer Day, I will see some men with prostate cancer who I know may have a poorer outcome in future due to the imminent de-listing of Jevtana. Jeremy Hunt talks about improved survival in prostate cancer as if it's a done deal, but we have to keep fighting for men with this disease who have very few treatment options and no place to go when hormone therapy stops working."
Hugh Gunn, spokesperson for prostate cancer patients' charity Tackle, added, "It is unfair that men in England with prostate cancer cannot get the same drugs as men in other European countries, especially when we have a Cancer Drugs Fund to supposedly pay for them. Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in England. It is a huge problem and these drugs are needed to keep men with this disease alive, have as much time as possible to fulfill their role in society and enjoy time with family and friends."
Notes to Editors
Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK; in the UK one in eight men will get prostate cancer during their lives. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
Most men with advanced prostate cancer eventually become resistant to hormonal therapyand their disease can progress after docetaxel chemotherapy. Before Jevtana, multiple medicines had been tested in this area without success demonstrating that this is a very difficult to treat population.
Jevtana is a novel taxane (plant-based) chemotherapy that may be active in cancer cells which are resistant to standard chemotherapy.,Jevtana works by inhibiting cell division causing cancer cell death.
Jevtana is the only active treatment option for advanced prostate cancer which is not responsive to available hormonal therapies following initial chemotherapy (with docetaxel).,,It has been licensed in the UK and the rest of Europe for use in men with advanced prostate cancer and available on the CDF since 2012. There have been 707 requests submitted to the CDF for Jevtana in the last 18 months.
Cancer Drug Fund
The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was set up as an interim measure by the coalition Government to facilitate better access to cancer drugs. Drugs on the CDF list are those that either haven't yet been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and aren't available within the NHS in England, or following appraisal haven't been deemed cost effective.
The CDF will run until the end of March 2016 when a new way of setting prices for cancer drugs, which aims to make more drugs routinely available in the NHS, will be introduced.
Patients who are already receiving treatment can continue until their doctor feels it is appropriate for them to stop.
About Sanofi Oncology
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and Vitry, France, Sanofi Oncology is dedicated to translating science into effective therapeutics that address unmet medical needs for cancer and organ transplant patients. Starting with a deep understanding of the disease and the patient, Sanofi Oncology employs innovative approaches to drug discovery and clinical development, with the ultimate goal of bringing the right medicines to the right patients to help them live healthier and longer lives. We believe in the value of partnerships that combine our internal scientific expertise with that of industry and academic experts. Our portfolio includes 10 marketed products and more than 15 investigational compounds in clinical development, including small molecules and biological agents.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
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Date of Preparation: February 2015
Job bag: SAGB.ONC.15.01.0102