cost agency NICE rejects another Roche cancer drug
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[October 03, 2014]
LONDON (Reuters) - Another new
cancer drug from Roche, this time for treating leukaemia, has been
rejected by Britain's healthcare cost-effectiveness agency NICE on the
grounds that data about its value is uncertain.
In August the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
(NICE) rejected the Swiss drugmaker's drug Kadcyla for an aggressive
form of breast cancer. Roche had proposed a discount for that drug,
which carries a full list price of more than 90,000 pounds for a
course of treatment.
Friday's decision promises to further sour relations between NICE
and the world's biggest maker of cancer drugs, which two months ago
said NICE was "not fit for purpose".
The panel decides which treatments are worth using in the state-run
National Health Service (NHS) and its latest preliminary guidance
covers obinutuzumab, marketed by Roche as Gazyvaro, for chronic
“Although obinutuzumab is a clinically effective treatment, there
were too many uncertainties in the company’s submission and we
cannot be confident that it is an effective use of NHS resources,"
said NICE's chief executive, Andrew Dillon.
"With limited resources we need to ensure that each treatment we
recommend gives patients not only the best care but is also of the
best value to the NHS.”
There is growing pressure on drug companies over the high cost of
medicines in both Europe and the United States. Cost is particularly
controversial in cancer, where new treatments offering hope to
patients come at a very high price.
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Roche, whose new leukaemia drug is priced at 26,496 pounds ($42,850)
for a course of treatment, said it was disappointed by the latest
NICE decision but would be working with the agency to find a way to
make it available.
(1 US dollar = 0.6184 British pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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