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BMS agrees deal on Opdivo availability through Cancer Drugs Fund for head and neck cancer

Published on 13/10/17 at 08:41am

Thanks to successful negotiation of a managed access agreement, NICE has announced its recommendation of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) for inclusion in the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck which has metastasized in patients who have not responded to chemotherapy within six months.

On initial review of the drug, NICE found that evidence on Opdivo’s efficacy in head and neck cancer proved inconclusive and could not approve it for use on the NHS. Following this decision, NICE invited BMS to instead submit a CDF proposal for the drug.

The agreement which has now been reached by the two parties means that Opdivo will now be made available via a commercial access agreement at a lower cost than its £1,037 list price per 100mg vial. While available on the CDF, data will continue to be gathered on its use in order to build its efficacy profile and potentially address NICE’s initial concerns.

“Nivolumab is an innovative drug that continues to draw attention, but its clinical evidence for some types of cancer can be uncertain,” commented Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “I am pleased the company has worked with us and NHS England to develop a managed access agreement and that we have found a way to provide for patients despite these uncertainties.”

Matt Fellows

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