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Breast cancer drug rejected by NICE


A drug which can be used to treat advanced cancer, giving sufferers the chance to extend their lives, has been rejected for use on the NHS by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Oral Tyverb (lapatinib), when used in combination with capecitabine, has been found by manufacturer GSK to offer a significant extension to life.

In July this year, NICE’s Appeal Panel requested that the Appraisal Committee reconsider their recommendations for the drug, under NICE’s end of life (EOL) criteria.

The EOL criteria was developed specifically to help patients who only have a short time left to live to gain access to medicines that could extend their lives. GSK submitted data showing that lapatinib met these criteria.

However, although the panel recognised that lapatinab could offer a significant extension to life, they said it was not a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

Dr Alison Jones, Oncologist at University College London Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital said: “I am disappointed for all the women who would have benefited from lapatinib on the NHS. I have witnessed myself that lapatinib can extend the lives of these women. We are now left with very few effective treatment options in cases where Herceptin has stopped working.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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