Roche’s breast cancer drug not value for money, says UK’s NICE

UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellance (NICE) has issued draft guidance stating that advanced breast cancer drug Perjeta is not cost-effective enough to be recommended. Perjeta is manufactured by Roche. The NHS is being advised not to routinely use Perjeta (pertuzumab) because “clinical trial data could not predict how long the drug might extend people’s lives for yet it costs much more than current NHS treatments“.

“The Appraisal Committee couldn’t be sure of the benefits of pertuzumab. The main clinical trial did not reflect current medical practice in the UK and despite the research data suggesting the treatment could help delay the growth and spread of the disease, the evidence was not robust enough to confirm for how long pertuzumab may actually extend people’s lives.

“The committee also noted that even the manufacturer estimated that the treatment would not be considered cost-effective for the NHS. We have now launched a consultation to gather comments from interested parties to develop the guidance further.”

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive.

Approximately 50,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. Around one in five tumours will be HER2-positive, which can be treated with Roche’s other breast cancer drug, Herceptin (trastuzumab). NICE is currently assessing whether the NHS should fund Perjeta, in combination with Herceptin and another drug called docetaxel, for HER2-postive tumours that have either recurred in the breast or spread to other parts of the body.

Charities, patient groups, NHS trusts and drug manufacturers are now being asked by NICE to share their views on this draft guidance. NICE will then consider all comments and publish a second draft of the guidance. If there are no objections at that stage, NICE will publish the final guidance to the NHS. Until then, NHS bodies are to make their decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.


Related news:

UK cost agency turns down new Roche breast cancer drug (Reuters)

Reference links:

NICE press release

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