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NICE approves Perjeta for routine use on NHS

Published on 01/02/18 at 10:22am

NICE has given the nod to Roche’s Perjeta for routine first-line use, alongside Herceptin and chemotherapy, in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

The drug has been available on the Cancer Drug Fund but the successful price negotiations between Roche and NHS England means that all patients will be offered the drug as standard.

The use of Perjeta has been found to increase overall survival, on average, by 16 months, as well as improving the numbers of patients whose cancer did not recur from 90.6% to 92.3%.

The decision was warmly welcomed by charities, with Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, saying:

“This is the best news patients with HER2-positive breast cancer and their doctors could have hoped for. Perjeta is a truly life-changing drug and we are absolutely delighted and relieved that NICE has finally been able to recommend it for routine NHS use in England.

“Perjeta’s benefits are extraordinary, offering women with incurable metastatic breast cancer over four and a half years to live – nearly 16 precious extra months with their loved ones compared to existing treatments.

“While a long time coming, we’re thrilled that tough negotiation and flexibility by NHS England and NICE, and the willingness of Roche to put patients first and compromise on price, has again ensured thousands of women can be given more time to live.”

The cost of the drug is listed at £2,395 per 420mg vial and individuals can run through six cycles of the drug – costing a total of £16,765, for this treatment alone as part of the triple therapy. NHS England has negotiated on this price to reduce the cost, but the reduction remains undisclosed.

Though Morgan welcomed the news, she did go on to stress that she was worried by the lack of access to the UK nations outside of England.

The approval comes only a day after it was revealed that the uptake of breast cancer screenings in England has fallen to a 10-year low – with only 71% of women following up on an invitation to a screening. Coupled to this were the research findings that the UK had fallen to 14th position in the EU for survival rates from breast cancer.

Ben Hargreaves

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