Breast cancer drug 'too expensive' for NHS

A drug that can extend the lives of some women with advanced breast cancer has been rejected for NHS use because it is too expensive.

Kadcyal can give patients with HER2-positive breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body and where initial treatments have failed an additional six months of life.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the drug was too expensive to recommend for widespread use in the health service.

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Terminal cancer sufferer condemns withdrawal of drug

A terminal cancer sufferer from Derbyshire has condemned the decision by the NHS drugs watchdog to withdraw the use of the drug Kadcyla to fight the disease on the grounds of cost.

The drug, which can add months to the life of women dying of breast cancer, costs £90,000 for a course of treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the drug was too expensive to recommend for widespread use in the health service.

Hayley Kalinins, from Borrowash, said: "How can they put a price on anybody's life?

"They do need to bring the cost of the drug down - that is obvious to everybody.

"It's been the miracle drug (for me). I've undergone four different types of chemotherapy before starting this drug.

"I've been on this drug for 18 weeks and experienced very minimal side effects from it, enabling me to have good family times with the four children."

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Breast cancer drug decision 'an injustice'

The manufacturer of a breast cancer drug which has been deemed "too expensive" to be offered by the NHS has hit back at the decision.

Dr Jayson Dallas, general manager of Roche Products Limited, declared it "an incredible injustice."

Despite Roche offering a significant discount, we are once again disappointed that Nice has not shown any flexibility on access to Kadcyla.

Refusing patients access to this drug is an incredible injustice and tantamount to turning the clock back in cancer research and development. We plan to appeal this decision.

– Dr Jayson Dallas

Breast cancer drug manufacturer 'could have done more'

The manufacturer of a breast cancer drug that offers a last hope to patients could have been "more flexible" to help make the drug affordable for the NHS, a health service boss said.

Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the NHS financial watchdog Nice, which has ruled Kadcyla is too expensive for NHS use, said:

Although Roche proposed a discount to the full list price of Kadcyla, it made little difference to its value for money, leaving it well above the top of our specially extended range of cost effectiveness for cancer drugs.

We are really disappointed that Roche were not able to demonstrate more flexibility to help us make a positive recommendation. The company is well aware that we could not have recommend Kadcyla at the price it proposed.

– Sir Andrew Dillon

NHS won't offer 'last hope' breast cancer drug

The NHS financial watchdog, Nice, has decided Kadcyla is too expensive. Credit: PA

The NHS will not offer a drug that gives patients with advanced breast cancer a last hope because it is too expensive.

Women with HER2-positive breast cancer, which has spread to other parts of their body and has not responded to initial treatment, can see their lives extended by around six months by Kadcyla.

However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has ruled that at around £90,000 per patient, the drug is too expensive to recommend for widespread use in the health service.

The NHS financial watchdog criticised Roche, who manufactures the drug, for not discounting the treatment further.

Roche said that is had offered to cut the price of the drug and will be appealing Nice's decision.

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