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NICE recommends Novartis' previously CDF-exclusive kidney cancer treatment

Published on 13/01/17 at 10:01am

In a reappraisal decision by NICE, everolimus (Novartis’ Afinitor) has been recommended for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in patients who have not responded to initial treatment and have seen their disease progress.  

A once-daily oral pill, Afinitor prevents the spread of tumours by interrupting the growth of new blood vessels within them, helping to treat the kidney cancer RCC, which can in advanced cases spread to other parts of the kidney and even the lymph glands.

The drug was previously only available through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) after being rejected in 2011. Since the reformation of the CDF, NICE has been engaged in reappraising a series of previously CDF-exclusive drugs on their efficacy and cost-effectiveness. To secure the new recommendation, Novartis offered a further discount for consideration. The NHS must now make the drug available within three months.

“Advanced renal cell carcinoma is a relatively rare cancer and unfortunately there are limited treatment options for this condition,” said professor Carole Longson, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “The company engaged positively with the process of reconsidering drugs in the CDF, demonstrated their drug to be cost effective, and as such we were pleased to make a positive recommendation. This decision, when implemented, will allow funding in the CDF to be freed up, which can then be spent on other new and innovative cancer treatments. Our decision means that many patients can feel reassured that they can now get NHS access to everolimus.”

Matt Fellows

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