Charities attack cancer drug denial

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THE decision to deny Scots patients use of a cancer drug which is keeping the Lockerbie bomber alive has been blasted by local charities.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium this week opted not to approve the life-prolonging Abiraterone Acetate, despite it being available elsewhere in the UK.

It has been shown to not only lengthen the life of prostate cancer patients, but enhance quality of life and almost obliterate pain. It has also been credited with keeping Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi alive, but the SMC ruled – at the cost of £3000 a month – it was too expensive.

Mike Shaw, chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Prostate Cancer Support Group, said: “We are deeply disappointed by the decision.

“It has been shown to have the potential to prolong life in the post-chemotherapy treatment of some men with metastatic prostate cancer.”