Breakthrough Breast Cancer Drug – Too Expensive for NHS?

The National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE) has warned that a new breast cancer drug, which extends women’s lives by up to six months, could be blocked from entering into routine NHS usage if the price-tag is deemed non-cost effective.

Produced by Roche, trastuzumab emtansine (also known as Kadcyla) can cost up to £90k per patient. An estimated 1500 patients will be eligible for the treatment, meaning that the true cost of the drug to the NHS could be around £135m per year.

Jayson Dallas, general manager of Roche, said:

“Roche is extremely disappointed that Nice has failed to
safeguard the interests of patients with this
advanced stage of aggressive disease.”

The guidance from NICE is now up for public consultation. If the drug is adopted, patients wishing to be considered for the drug will have to apply to the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) through their local NHS service.

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