Breast cancer drug blocked for second time22nd October 2009
The NHS drug regulator has ruled that a new drug that could give breast cancer sufferers an extra three months of life should not be available on the health service.
The drug Tyverb is licensed for women with breast cancer that has spread and is designed to be used after Herceptin has stopped working.
Trials suggest it may prolong patients’ lives but the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said in draft guidance that the drug – which costs £25,000 per patient per year – is not cost effective use of NHS funds.
NICE said the evidence to support claims Tyverb, also known as lapatinib, of prolonging life is not robust.
The drug is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, which believes 2,000 women a year in England and Wales will be denied the treatment as a consequence of the draft guidance.
GSK UK General Manager Simon Jose said: “NICE developed additional criteria specifically to help secure greater patient access to new treatments that offer precious extra time at the end of life.
"It is disappointing that, despite acknowledging Tyverb meets these criteria and GSK offering to bear the cost of lapatinib for up to 12 weeks, NICE is still proposing to reject lapatinib.
"We will continue to offer our patient access programme to individual NHS Trusts to ensure patients have access to Tyverb.”
NICE Deputy Chief Executive Dr Gillian Leng said: “The Appraisal Committee considered the updated economic evaluation presented by the manufacturer but was not persuaded that the adjusted estimates of overall survival presented were robust.”
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Title: Breast cancer drug blocked for second time
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12990
Date Added: 22nd Oct 2009