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No NICE recommendation for AstraZeneca's Tagrisso in EGFR+ lung cancer

Published on 22/01/20 at 10:32am

AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso (osimertinib) has been knocked back for routine use on the NHS in England and Wales by the drug watchdog NICE in the treatment of previously treated, locally advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The decision is a reinforcement of one made in July last year after AstraZeneca appealed against the rejection.

This was because the therapy “did not meet NICE’s end of life criteria”, with the organisation placing estimates on its cost-effectiveness beyond what could be considered as an acceptable use of NHS resources, based on the submitted data.

These data demonstrated that Tagrisso halted disease progression by 18.9 months compared to 10.2 months with erlotinib or gefitinib, the standard first-line treatment for the disease. NICE took issue with these findings as they did not factor in the efficacy of afatinib, which can prove more effective than either of these treatments.

NICE concluded that the therapy would not have the potential to be cost-effective at the price it is currently offered, and so could not even recommend it for use on the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Matt Fellows

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