A UK health watchdog has recommended the use of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' Zytiga (abiraterone) for the treatment of prostate cancer, after previously rejecting the drug.
Patients in England and Wales are now likely to receive the treatment, in combination with prednisone, on the NHS (National Health Service).
In February 2012, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said abiraterone, which costs about £3,000 a month and can extend life by more than three months, was not cost-effective.
But the watchdog has made a dramatic u-turn on this decision, which was met with angry response by patients and cancer charities, after reviewing its first draft guidance.
Commenting on the draft recommendations, NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: "During the consultation on the draft guidance, Janssen, the manufacturer of the drug, submitted further information for the committee to consider. This included a revised patient access scheme, which involves providing the drug to the NHS at a discounted price. These factors enabled the committee to revise its preliminary recommendation and now recommend the drug for use on the NHS."
"We are very pleased that Janssen's submission to our consultation means that we are able to produce draft guidance recommending abiraterone - it is an effective treatment, potentially extending life by more than three months, and it also allows patients to be treated at home as it can be taken orally," added Dillon.
The new guidelines are now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it.
In a statement, NICE said that until it issues final guidance, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.