Will Patients Push for Docetaxel after Sciensus Cabazitaxel Death?

A cancer patient has died after receiving an “unlicensed” version of a prostate cancer chemotherapy drug. Three other patients also needed hospital treatment. East Midlands drug manufacturer Sciensus admitted to administering an unlicensed version of Cabazitaxel to four prostate cancer patients.

Cabazitaxel and Docetaxel Prostate Cancer Chemotherpy Drugs

The UK healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) said it would take all measures to ensure patient safety. Cabazitaxel is licensed in the UK for prostate cancer chemotherapy use, however, following an “isolated incident” in April 2023 at Sciensus manufacturing facility an unlicensed version was inadvertently administered to the four patients. The care quality commission (CQC) said it was working with the MHRA regarding the event.

Despite the apparent isolated incident, it remains to be seen if patient concerns push for alternative treatment such as Taxotere® (docetaxel), a chemotherapy drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis.

Sciensus is a pharmaceutical company based in Burton-on-Trent that employs around 1,600 people. A spokesperson for the company said:

“Sciensus can confirm that an isolated incident at our medicine manufacturing unit in April has affected four patients.

“We are deeply saddened that one of the patients has since died and wish to offer our sincere condolences to the patient’s family and friends.

“As soon as the incident was discovered, we immediately contacted the regulators, the patients and their doctors. We are currently conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and are working with the regulators.”

The MHRA said it could not provide any further details of the patients while its investigation was being carried out.

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