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Cancer drug fails recommendation


The drug everolimus (afinitor, Novartis) has not been recommended for a second line treatment option for advanced renal cell carcinoma despite evidence indicating it is clinically effective.

NHS resources are limited and NICE must decide which treatments represent best value to patients and the service, said clinical and public health director Professor Peter Littlejohns. There is limited data about how long it can extend life, he added.

Everolimus is an expensive drug and NICE had to be sure the evidence on effectiveness was robust before recommending it, said Prof Littlejohns, adding. “We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn’t help people live longer.”

Draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which rejected recommending the drug, has now gone to public consultation.

Consultees, healthcare professionals and members of the public are able to comment on the recommendations which are available from February 9 until March 2, 2010, on the NICE website. Comments received during this consultation will be fully considered by the Appraisal Committee in March. Following this, the next draft guidance will be issued.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Department of Health

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