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NICE turns down Sanofi's Caprelsa for rare thyroid cancer

Published on 31/10/18 at 10:37am

NICE has announced its recommendation to reject Sanofi’s Caprelsa (vandetanib) for use on the NHS in the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) that either cannot be operated on or has metastasised to other areas of the body.

The institute stated in its draft guidance that the data for the drug confirmed its potential to improve progression-free survival in comparison to best supportive care, but this exact extent of this benefit could not be accurately determined. It was also judged that the evidence supporting its overall survival benefit was unreliable.

Because of this, Caprelsa could not prove itself to be any more effective than Ipsen’s Cometriq (cabozantinib), and cost-effectiveness estimates for Sanofi’s drug came in far above the level NICE can consider cost-effective for use on the health service. It also failed to meet the organisation end-of-life criteria for inclusion on the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Thyroid cancer affects around 3,400 new patients every year, with rates having doubles in the last decade. MTC however is a rare form of the disease, with around 80 new diagnoses each year.

NICE has confirmed that appeal period for its decision is open until 5pm, 14 November.

Matt Fellows

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