Claire Baker asks for Abiraterone update

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, has today written to NHS Fife for an update on the availability of abiraterone after it was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in August.

It is reported that abiraterone can extend the lives of men with incurable prostate cancer but was previously available only in England and Wales.

Yet after lobbying by groups such as Prostate Cancer UK and MSPs including Claire Baker the drug, having previously been rejected, was finally approved for use in Scotland.

The drug will be available only to men with advanced prostate cancer who are no longer responding to docetaxel or hormone therapies.

Claire Baker commented:

“The first step has been taken with the approval of abiraterone by the SMC but now we need to make sure that the drug is being offered by local NHS boards for those that qualify.

“That is why I have today written to NHS Fife to ask for an update in the process of making abiraterone available. It is important that doctors have the full range of treatments at their disposal when dealing with a patient.

“Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer and it was a black dot on our National Health Service that this treatment was available in England and Wales but not Scotland. Thankfully that has since been rectified and this will hopefully lead to sufferers of prostate cancer living a better quality of life.”

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