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Clovis Oncology's Rubraca now available via the Cancer Drugs Fund for ovarian, peritoneal, fallopian tube cancer

Published on 11/10/19 at 09:43am

NICE has announced it has made an about-face on its earlier ruling for Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca (rucaparib), revealing that the drug will now be made available immediately via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for women in England with relapsed ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer, that has responded to platinum-based chemotherapy.

The UK watchdog originally turned down the therapy due to concerns over the certainty of the data submitted, as well as over cost-effectiveness, based on the price put forward by Clovis. It is estimated that around 1,350 patients in England could benefit from this new decision.

In clinical trials, the drug was shown to double progression-free survival to 10.8 months compared to placebo. Overall survival benefit is not known, as the trial data has not matured as yet; once this benefit has been proven with the submission of new long-term survival data, Rubraca may be able to be considered as cost-effective for routine NHS use.

“Many people with advanced ovarian cancer experience recurrent disease which requires multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Rucaparib offers patients a new treatment option to help prevent cancer growth, delaying the need for further chemotherapy and the associated side-effects,” commented Meindert Boysen, Director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation. “We’re therefore pleased with the positive response from the company that has led to rucaparib being approved for use in the Cancer Drugs Fund. This will allow patients to access the treatment immediately, while more evidence can be collected on its overall survival benefit.”

John Stewart, NHS Director of Specialised Commissioning, also remarked: “Providing the latest cutting edge treatments for patients through innovative drug deals is just one way the NHS Long Term Plan will transform cancer care across the country. Thousands of patients are benefiting from earlier access to innovative treatments like rucaparib which has been made available as soon as possible through the new Cancer Drugs Fund.”

Matt Fellows

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