Disappointment as NICE turns down Roche’s breast cancer drug

Pharmatimes reported that NICE have turned down Roche’s Avastin for patients with advanced breast cancer in a draft because of uncertainties over the drug’s survival and costing’s. Roche however say this drug could make a real difference to cancer patients.

NICE said despite clinical evidence showing that the drug is able to increase progression-free survival by just under three months compared with capecitabine alone, its effect on overall survival is less clear.. NICE’s appraisal committee concluded that they could not recommend the treatment as an effective use of NHS resources

Basel-based Roche said the draft guidance wasn’t the final recommendation from NICE  in this setting and that it will respond to the draft guidance as per NICE’s process.

Roche said “Avastin in combination with [chemotherapy drug] capecitabine is an important treatment option for women with breast cancer….In a subgroup analysis of women treated with a taxane when their disease was at an early stage, progression-free survival more than doubled from 4.2 months to 8.7 months compared to those treated capecitabine alone.”

Pharmatimes reported that this news will certainly disappoint   thousands of patients suffering from the condition, who will no doubt be hoping that additional evidence will be submitted during the current consultation period to overturn the decision.

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