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Home Industry News NICE backlog sees England wait for Aromasin

NICE backlog sees England wait for Aromasin

18th November 2005

A drug used for treating breast cancer has been approved in Scotland before the rest of the country.

Armoasin has been given the go ahead by the Scottish Medical Consortium, a full year before the equivalent National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is expected to approve the drug south of the border. The agency says that a backlog of other drugs is delaying the process.

The drug, approved for use among post-menopausal patients, is a hormone therapy which works by slowing down production of oestrogen. A study in 2004 discovered that among the group, Armoasin reduced breast cancer risk by a third.

One charity expressed frustration at the slow process for drug approval. Breast Cancer Care said in a statement that it was “pleased to see that the SMC has taken the lead in making this drug accessible to women in Scotland, offering an addition to the range of treatment options available to them.”

But it added that the decision showed that “access to drugs can vary” across the UK. It demanded that the government should end the “postcode lottery,” currently preventing English, Welsh and Northern Irish women from receiving the treatment.

It is unlikely that the drug will be fully licensed until the end of 2006.

track© Adfero Ltd

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