The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today announced that Xofigo® (radium-223 dichloride) has been accepted for use within NHS Scotland for the treatment of adult patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases.
While the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance recommending radium-223 dichloride in advanced prostate cancer, this does not cover all patients and may not be confirmed for a number of months and could change. In Scotland, under SMC guidance clinicians will have the choice to use Xofigo prior to chemotherapy or after. So while patient access has improved in Scotland, it is worsening in the rest of the UK.
“This is a positive step for advanced prostate cancer patients in Scotland. However, the picture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is very different. Historically radium-223 dichloride has been available only in England, funded through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). This CDF funding is due to cease later this year following the recent CDF delisting round,” said Mr Hugh Gunn, Tackle Prostate Cancer. “If NICE pass radium-223 dichloride for use, this will be for post chemotherapy patients only. This will prevent the use of radium-223 dichloride in men who, for one reason or another do not progress to chemotherapy.”
SMC approves Bayer's Xofigo for treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer in NHS Scotland