Fifth Kidney Cancer Drug Rejected by NICE

Fifth Kidney Cancer Drug Rejected by NICE

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has rejected everolimus (Afinitor), a drug which is used to treat advanced kidney cancer, for use on the NHS. This decision was made in spite of a proposed risk-sharing scheme between the NHS and the drug's manufacturer, Novartis.

Research suggests that everolimus can extend patients' lives by an average of three months, compared to the current best standard of care. Nevertheless, NICE ruled that the drug's benefit to patients does not sufficiently justify its cost. Based on clinical trials, the drug, which costs £99 per patient per day, would have to be taken for 4.9 months.

The news is "frustrating", says Mike Hobday of Macmillan Cancer Support, especially because the NHS has already rejected four treatments for advanced kidney cancer. These are Avastin, Nexavar, Sutent for second line treatment and Torisel. Despite the fact that patients with rarer cancers have limited access to many treatments, Mr. Hobday said that the government's cancer drugs fund, which was allotted at £50 million this year and will receive at £200 million next year, will likely work towards addressing the problem

"Macmillan wants the Government to ensure that the new fund includes a focus on treatment for rarer cases, so that the NHS will support patients whatever cancer they have. We want NHS support to be fair and equal."