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Trastuzumab-emtansine Too Costly for Use on the NHS England

Final guidance on the use of trastuzumab-emtansine says the drug is too high in price for routine use on the NHS
21 Dec 2015
Breast cancer;  Bioethics, legal and economic issues;  Anticancer agents & Biologic therapy

Trastuzumab-emtansine (Kadcyla) is a treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer that cannot be surgically removed and has stopped responding to initial treatment. The drug costs around 90,000 GBP per patient at its full list price.

Earlier this year, Roche the manufacturer of the drug, agreed a significant price discount with NHS England to stop the drug being removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund. The manufacturer offered smaller, different discount to NICE for use in this appraisal.

A spokesperson for NICE said: “Although Roche recently agreed a price discount with NHS England to allow Kadcyla to be retained on the Cancer Drugs Fund, they made no changes to the patient access scheme available for the NICE appraisal, which means it is still above the top of our specially extended range of cost effectiveness for cancer drugs.”

This guidance does not mean that patients currently receiving the drug will stop receiving it. They have the option to continue treatment until they and their doctors consider it appropriate to stop.

Last update: 21 Dec 2015

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