Paul Burstow (The Minister of State, Department of Health; Sutton and Cheam, Liberal Democrat)
Abiraterone (Zytiga) is licensed for the treatment of metastatic prostrate cancer and there are no national restrictions on its prescribing in the national health service.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising abiraterone for two separate indications. NICE is an independent body and has not yet issued final guidance to the national health service on either indication.
In the absence of final positive NICE technology appraisal guidance, primary care trusts (PCTs) are required to take funding decisions locally based on an assessment of the available evidence and to have processes in place to consider individual funding requests for drugs. Where a cancer drug is not routinely funded by a PCT, patients may be able to access it through the Cancer Drugs Fund.