The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body that provides evidence-based guidance for the National Health Service on whether new medicines represent a clinically- and cost-effective use of resources. The NHS is legally required to fund medicines recommended by NICE, usually within three months of final guidance.
NICE has published guidance recommending abiraterone for the treatment of hormone-relapsed metastatic prostate cancer before chemotherapy is indicated and for the castration-resistant variant of that cancer previously treated with a docetaxel-containing regimen. NHS England funds abiraterone for these indications of prostate cancer in line with NICE’s recommendations, making it routinely available for the treatment of eligible patients.
Abiraterone is not licensed for the treatment of non-metastatic prostate cancer and has therefore not been appraised by NICE for such use. NHS England is considering a clinical policy proposal for abiraterone as a treatment option for patients newly diagnosed with high risk, non-metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, or in whom prostate cancer has relapsed after at least 12 months without treatment. This specific policy proposal is due to be discussed later in November 2023 and if supported by a clinical panel it will progress to stakeholder testing by January 2024.