UPPER Bann MP David Simpson has welcomed the decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) to approve making the cancer drug abiraterone available on the NHS and has called for it to be made available in Northern Ireland.
Speaking after NICE reversed an earlier provisional position on the drug marketed as ‘Zytiga’ the MP said: “Abiraterone, or Zytiga, can prolong the lives of late-stage cancer sufferers by several months. That might not seem like much to people who are not suffering from this terrible illness. But it could make all the difference that would grant a person enough extra precious time that would allow them to see the birth of a child or grandchild or walk their daughter down the aisle.
“The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) had originally rejected the drug, so I am pleased at this rethink. It is something that I have been campaigning for and I want to welcome this decision.
“Approximately 37,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and 10,000 die from it. It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men.
“I am delighted that we have now had this new decision and would call for abiraterone to be made available on the NHS in Northern Ireland.