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NICE recommends Bristol Myers Squibb's skin cancer drug Opdivo for NHS use

Published on 12/02/21 at 12:09pm

NICE has issued final draft guidance recommending the routine use of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)’s Opdivo (nivolumab) as an option after surgery for some people with melanoma.

For the last two years, nivolumab has been recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund as an option for the adjuvant treatment of completely resected melanoma in adults with lymph node involvement or metastatic disease.

The recommendation allowed for patients to access the drug while data on its effectiveness was collected to address significant clinical uncertainty, and before it could be considered for routine commissioning.

It is unclear whether the treatment increases the length of time people live or patients’ overall survival, as the data from the Cancer Drugs Fund and the key clinical trial are still limited, but the committee was persuaded that some of its preferred assumptions for nivolumab’s effect on long-term survival had been too conservative.

New analyses presented by BMS showed that the most likely estimates of cost-effectiveness were within the range NICE considers a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

The committee has now recommended the routine use of nivolumab as an option after surgery for some people with melanoma, subject to the BMS providing the drug according to the commercial arrangement agreed with the NHS.

Darcy Jimenez

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