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The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), says Roche’s breast cancer drug Kadcyla is still too expensive. Although retained for use through the Cancer Drugs Fund, Roche’s breast cancer treatment, Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), will not be recommended for routine NHS use because its price remains too high.
NICE’s draft guidance comes after news that Roche agreed a significant price discount with NHS England to stop the drug being removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund. It turns out that a different, smaller discount was offered to NICE for use in this appraisal.
Sir Andrew Dillon Chief Executive of NICE, said “it is disappointing that there appears to have been no meaningful attempt by Roche to reconsider its price to secure Kadcyla’s long-term future in the NHS, outside of the Cancer Drugs Fund. We recognise that Kadcyla has a place in treating some patients with advanced breast cancer and we have been as flexible as we can in making our recommendation. However, the price that the manufacturer is asking the NHS to pay in the long-term is too high.”
Kadcyla is licensed to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, cannot be surgically removed and has stopped responding to initial treatment. At its full list price it costs about £90,000 per patient.
Although Roche has offered a discount, NICE’s independent Appraisal Committee found that the price reduction was insufficient to make it cost-effective for the NHS. NICE has not received any further offers from Roche to reduce the price.
NICE said that any person currently receiving the treatment can continue until they and their doctor consider it appropriate to stop.