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NICE rejects Eisai's Halaven in earlier setting for metastatic breast cancer

Published on 22/02/18 at 10:16am

NICE has published its decision not to recommend Eisai’s Halaven (eribulin) in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after one prior chemotherapy regimen, but the manufacturer has been keen to stress that the drug is still available in later settings.

While NICE did not issue a formal press release with the news, Eisai issued its own statement with emphasis on the drug’s availability on the NHS for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens, which may include an anthracycline or a taxane, and capecitabine. Halaven was recommended in the indication in 2016, becoming the first breast cancer drug to be given the green light in that particular form of the disease for almost a decade.

"Eisai is yet again extremely disappointed with a decision from NICE,” commented Gary Hendler, Chief Commercial Officer of Eisai Oncology Business Group, and Chairman and CEO Eisai EMEA.  “Metastatic breast cancer patients can only currently access a limited number of new treatments in England, and as eribulin has been shown to significantly improve overall survival in women with this disease it is an important option that they should have access to as early as possible.

"Denying earlier access to it for these patients will affect their outcomes and as a company focussed on making a positive difference to the lives of patients and their families, NICE's decision concerns us greatly. Thankfully patients can still access eribulin in the third line,” he added.

Matt Fellows

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