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Sunday 27th May 2018

Herceptin green light

23rd August 2006

06032006_herceptin1.jpgThe National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued final guidance on Herceptin (Trastuzumab) to the NHS, three months after the drug was licensed by the regulatory authorities for use in early breast cancer.

Primary care trusts now have three months to implement the NICE guidance. The ruling on Herceptin has come after a high-profile campaign by patients and charities for Herceptin to be available on the NHS.

It recommends that Herceptin treatment should be offered as an option for women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer after they have had surgery and chemotherapy (and sometimes radiotherapy), except where there are concerns about the woman's cardiac function.
NICE dismissed an objection to its draft guidance from Newbury and Community Primary Care Trust (PCT). The PCT had challenged NICE on guidance which it said was 'perverse in the light of the evidence submitted'. Newbury and Community PCT raised concerns over potential risks to some women, treatment length, and cost effectiveness in the light of other demands on the NHS; the cost for one year's treatment with Herceptin is around £19,500. NICE rejected the appeal which was held on July 26th.

NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “Our assessment of Herceptin shows that it is clinically and cost effective for women with HER2-positive early breast cancer. The guidance has been issued rapidly, to ensure consistent use across the NHS.?

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