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Breast cancer patient: £90,000 drug changed my life

A patient using the breast cancer drug Kadcyla, which could be blocked from routine NHS access because it is too expensive, told ITV News the treatment had improved her quality of life.

"I was in quite a bad state, and within about two cycles my life felt like it had turned a corner. I was able to do things I wasn't able to do prior to being on this treatment," Mani said of the drug, which currently costs around £90,000 per patient.

Health chief 'disappointed' with cancer drug company

The chief executive of health watchdog Nice told ITV News he is "disappointed" that drug manufacturer Roche has not offered the NHS a discount on a breast cancer drug that costs around £90,000 per patient.

Kadcyla, which extends women's lives by almost six months, could be blocked from routine NHS access because it is too expensive.

"Companies can discount their prices and they frequently do. Given the list price. I would have expected the company to have at least considered (a discount)," Andrew Dillon said.

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Expert: NICE faced 'difficult decision' over cancer drug

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) faced "difficult decisions" when it deemed a breast cancer drug which can extend sufferers lives by "up to six months" was too expensive, according to a health expert.

Dr Hilary Jones told Daybreak the £90,000 price tag per patient would have meant taking funds away from other vital services the NHS provides.

Cancer drug manufacturer urged to cut price

A consultant analyses a mammogram.
A consultant analyses a mammogram. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The chief executive of health watchdog Nice has urged a drug manufacturer to look at cutting the cost of Kadcyla - a cancer treatment deemed 'too expensive' for routine NHS use.

Sir Andrew Dillon said he hoped Roche would "act in the best interest of patients" and use the consultation period to look again at their evidence and consider if there was "more" they could do to reduce the price of the treatment.

Jayson Dallas, general manager of the company, responded to Nice's announcement, saying: "Roche is extremely disappointed that Nice has failed to safeguard the interests of patients with this advanced stage of aggressive disease."

He added that he hoped the watchdog would "arrive at a sustainable solution that builds upon the success" of the Cancer Drugs Fund, so that "patients continue to have rapid access to much needed cancer medicines".

Read: 'Unaffordable' breast cancer drug set to be blocked

'Unaffordable' breast cancer drug set to be blocked

A new breast cancer drug which extends women's lives by almost six months could be blocked from routine NHS access because it is too expensive, a health watchdog says.

Kadcyla, manufactured by Roche, can cost more than £90,000 per patient and is not effective enough to justify the price the NHS is being asked to pay, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said.

The watchdog, which decides which new medicines are cost effective, said its guidance for the drug, also known as trastuzumab emtansine, was in draft form and is now up for public consultation.

If the recommendations are adopted, patients would have to apply to their local NHS and to the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for the drug, a Nice spokeswoman said.

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Calls for more research into smoking risks for women

More research is needed into the link between smoking and the development of breast cancer in women over 50, US scientists said.

The call comes as a new study from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, found that women who smoked after menopause were 19% more likely to develop cancer.

Read: New link between smoking and breast cancer

DR Sarah Nyante said her study adds to the growing body of evidence of the association between smoking and increased breast cancer risk.

Previous studies have investigated this relationship, but questions remained regarding the extent to which other breast cancer risk factors, such as alcohol intake, might influence the results.

More work is now needed to understand the mechanisms behind the link between smoking and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Former smokers '7% more likely to get breast cancer'

Scientists in the US have established a new link between increased risk of breast cancer in older women and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Read: New link between smoking and breast cancer

The results held true even after accounting for increased alcohol consumption levels, which has already been established as a risk factor.

Former smokers were found to have a 7% higher chance of developing the deadly disease than those who had never smoked.

  • US scientists who tracked the progress of 186,000 women aged between 50 and 71 found that those who smoked were 19% more to develop breast cancer than those who had not ever smoked
  • Women who previously smoked but had managed to give up were 7% more at risk
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