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NICE not able to recommend bladder cancer treatment

10th March 2011

The government’s drug regulatory body has decided not to recommend a new treatment for bladder cancer be made available on the NHS.

In final draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not been able to recommend vinflunine (Javlor, Pierre-Fabre) for the treatment of advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelial tract which has progressed following prior treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.

The draft guidance has now gone out to consultation and interested parties will have a chance to appeal against the decision before NICE issues final guidance to the NHS.

NICE Chief Executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: “When we recommend the use of expensive treatments designed to extend life, we need to be confident about the nature and the extent of the benefit they bring.

“In the case of vinflunine, the manufacturer has been unable to provide the committee with conclusive evidence on how effective vinflunine is, particularly the extent to which it can prolong survival compared with best supportive care.

“The committee also had concerns that the negative side effects of vinflunine, such as severe constipation, were not fully taken account of in the economic evaluation.”

However, the current position does leave NHS bodies with the opportunity still to make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments until it issues its final guidance.

NICE has stressed that patients currently receiving vinflunine should have the option to continue therapy until they and their clinicians consider that it is appropriate to stop that treatment.

 

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