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GSK's patient access scheme for Votrient sways NICE

Published on 24/12/10 at 07:32am
renal cell carcinoma
Coloured urogram (X-ray) of the left kidney of a patient with renal clear cell carcinoma (blue). Credit: Sovereign, ISM/Science Photo Library

NICE has recommended GlaxoSmithKline’s kidney cancer drug Votrient in final draft guidance after the pharma company offered to implement a two-stage patient access scheme.

Votrient (pazopanib) received the Institute’s backing as a first line treatment option for people with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have not received prior cytokine therapy and have a low Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of between zero or one.

Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation centre director at NICE, noted that Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib) had already been recommended for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, but said Votrient would offer patients an additional option and, for some, a more favourable side effect profile.

GSK also agreed a two-stage patient access scheme (PAS) with the Department of Health, the first part of which provides a 12.5% discount from the drug’s list price.

The company has also offered a future rebate linked to the ongoing, head-to-head phase III trials against Sutent which NICE will accept if they prove successful. The financial details of the rebate were not made public.

Longson said: “The manufacturer has offered a straight discount on the list price of pazopanib, as well as providing a possible future rebate linked to the outcome of the head-to-head trial comparing pazopanib and sunitinib; making pazopanib a cost-effective option for the NHS.”  

GSK’s UK general manager Simon Jose said: “NICE has acted quickly in recognising Votrient as a clinical and cost-effective treatment option for advanced kidney cancer. It is often difficult to demonstrate the full value of innovative cancer medicines initially, as the evidence driving that value typically evolves over time as further studies are completed.

“We recognise this challenge and that is why we have offered an innovative potential future value rebate scheme. We are confident that the ongoing head-to-head study will confirm the full value of Votrient in this setting, but, if not, we will pay a partial rebate to the NHS.”

Manufacturers of other RCC drugs have found it hard to win NICE over. Novartis’ Afinitor and Bayer’s Nexavar both failed to gain NICE approval, and the Institute’s review of Torisel was terminated in October after Pfizer failed to give the relevant cost-effectiveness data.

Ben Adams

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