Prostate cancer treatment among drugs cleared for use in Scotland

Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has published advice accepting the use of a number of new drugs.

Prostate cancer treatment among drugs cleared for use in Scotland PA Media

A targeted treatment for men with a specific type of prostate cancer is among three new medicines which have been approved for use in Scotland.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has published advice accepting the use of a number of new drugs.

One of these is olaparib, which treats prostate cancer with a specific gene mutation and is the first targeted treatment for patients with this condition.

It can be used in end-of-life treatment and can prolong the time until the disease progresses.

Cabotegravir, in combination with rilpivirine, has also been approved for adults living with HIV.

It is a long-acting treatment for HIV which must be injected by a health professional every two months.

The SMC also approved chloroprocaine hydrochloride (Ampres), a spinal anaesthesia for planned day-case surgical procedures under 40 minutes.

SMC chairman, Mark MacGregor, said: “The committee is pleased to be able to accept these three medicines for use by NHS Scotland.

“Olaparib is the first targeted treatment for patients with prostate cancer.

“Participants in our Pace (patient and clinician engagement) meeting told us of the heavy symptom burden for those living with this condition and how highly valued this treatment will be.

“For those living with HIV, cabotegravir injection offers another option compared to current treatments that all require tablets to be taken every day.

“The chloroprocaine hydrochloride injection offers an additional option for planned surgical procedures lasting less than 40 minutes.”

The charity Prostate Cancer UK said it welcomed the approval of olaparib, which provides the first opportunity for prostate cancer to be treated based on the genetic make-up of the cancer.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Olaparib represents a revolution in prostate cancer treatment and we’re delighted that men in Scotland will soon be able to benefit from its life-extending effects.

“However, without investment in vital genomic testing services, hundreds of men won’t be able to access the tests they need to find out if they could benefit from this drug.”

He urged the Scottish Government to increase genetic testing to ensure no-one missed out on the benefits of the new drug.

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