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Published on 29 April 2009

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Cancer drugs too expensive: NICE


The UK drugs watchdog has decided not to recommend a handful of drugs designed for use as a first and second line treatment for kidney cancer.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been appraising the four life-saving drugs – bevacizumab, sorafenib, temsirolimus, and sunitinib.

It backed the use of sunitinib for first line renal cancer in March, but decided to recommend against the others due to cost-cutting measures, deeming them too expensive.

Macmillan Cancer Support attacked the decision, saying it was extremely disappointing and would lead to further pain for sufferers.

The charity urged NICE to reconsider its decision, and said doctors should continue to prescribe the drugs until the final guidance was issued.

Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: “Until NICE issued final guidance on the use of bevacizumab, sorafenib, and temsirolimus for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and the use of sorafenib and sunitinib for second-line treatment options for people with renal cell carcinoma, NHS bodies should make decisions locally as to which treatments each could afford.”

Copyright Press Association 2009


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