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NICE rules Shire’s Onivyde not cost effective

Published on 17/11/16 at 09:04am

Shire’s Onivyde has been determined by NICE as not cost effective, in draft guidance, despite adding on average two months longer to those suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The guidance relates to Onivyde in metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas that has progressed after gemcitabine-based therapy, in combination with 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy and leucovorin booster. The cost for a two-week treatment cycle would be £1,846 and the cost of QALY would work out at around £100,000. This is a level of cost that greatly exceeds NICE’s usual costing. On top of this, the independent assessment committee also ruled that the drug did not increase the lifespan of patients for long enough to qualify for its end-of-life criteria.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: “We know that people with pancreatic cancer have very limited treatment options, so it is disappointing that the cost of pegylated liposomal irinotecan means that it is too expensive for us to recommend.”

“As this guidance is currently at a draft decision phase, we would welcome further discussions with the company to see how we can make the drug available to patients within the NHS.”

NICE will continue to consult on their own guidance for the drug until 6 December, when it will then published its final draft. Though, with the high cost of the drug, it is to be expected that there will be a similar outcome. 

Ben Hargreaves

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