A liver cancer drug has been rejected for use on the NHS by the UK’s cost-effectiveness healthcare watchdog, even though the drug company has lowered the cost of treatment.
Nexavar, the drug generically known as sorafenib, was designed to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer which affects between 80 and 90% of primary tumours.
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) previously refused to accept the drug, created by Bayer, for treating kidney cancers. This is the second time it has turned down Nexavar for liver treatment, as it initially refused to approve it in May, but Bayer tried to reduce the cost of the drug to the NHS by putting forward an patient access scheme.
NICE was unconvinced, which is a huge setback to Bayer and its partner Onyx Pharmaceuticals, who have high hopes for Nexavar and anti-blood clotting pill Xarelto. Bayer has proven the Nexavar works for liver and kidney cancer, and are seeking to use it on breast and lung tumours.
Copyright Press Association 2009