Charities angered by guidance on Kadcyla, which costs £90,000 per year per patient and gives extra nine months on average
A breast cancer drug that costs £90,000 a year per patient has been turned down for use by the NHS on financial grounds, triggering an outcry from patients groups who say it prolongs the lives of people seriously ill with the disease.
Kadcyla, made by Roche Pharmaceuticals, was rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. It has the highest price tag ever for a cancer medicine and was turned down because its benefits did not justify its cost, Nice said.
Prof Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at Nice, said: “We know that people with cancer place great importance on drugs that can increase their life expectancy. For that reason we apply as much flexibility as we can when we look at new life-extending treatments.
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Filed under: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cancer Drug
- Experts say men who took the drug had 29% better chance of survival
- Trials found drug delayed need for chemotherapy by average of 17 months
- Drug costs £2,734 a month and had previously been refused by NICE
Thousands of men are to benefit from a prostate cancer drug which delays the need for gruelling chemotherapy. Officials at NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – have reversed their previous decision and recommended that enzalutamide be funded on the NHS. An estimated 5,500 men in England and Wales each year are expected to benefit from use of the drug, which slashes the risk of prostate cancer progressing. Clinical trials have shown that the treatment delays the need for chemotherapy by an average 17 months, substantially increasing quality of life for patients.
Men who took the drug at this stage also had a 29 per cent better overall chance of survival. Doctors say the treatment, which was developed by British scientists, has the potential to transform prostate cancer from a killer disease unto a chronic illness. Enzalutamide is already available if chemotherapy has failed – but cancer charities have repeatedly insisted that the drug, which is also called Xtandi, will benefit even more men if it is used before chemotherapy. Yet officials at NICE published a draft decision in June indicating it would not be approved for routine use before chemotherapy.
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The drug was found to delay the need for chemotherapy in patients for an average 17 months, increasing the quality of life for patients. (The prostate is pictured, orange, below the bladder)
Filed under: Cancer, Cancer Drug, Enzalutamide, NHS, Prostate cancer