The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has rejected breast cancer drugs Herceptin and Tyverb in a particular combination with hormone therapy for use on the NHS.
GlaskoSmithKline’s Tyverb and Roche’s Herceptin are licensed for use alongside hormone therapy in postmenopausal breast cancer patients whose breast cancer has spread.
Tyverb and Herceptin can reduce the growth and further spread of metastatic breast cancer tumours when taken alongside hormone therapy.
The acquisition cost for a lifetime of treatment of Tyverb plus hormone therapy is £28,212, and for Herceptin plus hormone therapy around £26,000.
However, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year has been calculated at more than £74,000 for Tyverb, and £51,000 for Herceptin compared with hormone therapy alone. QALY is a measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived.
The normal threshold set by NICE for use on the NHS is £20,000-£30,000.
In new draft guidance published this morning NICE said that overall survival benefit from the drug appears to be small or undefined.
NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon said: “independent economic analyses indicate that both treatment combinations do not appear to be cost effective for the NHS because they have uncertain clinical benefits for the price that the NHS is being asked to pay."
Herceptin is already recommended for use on the NHS in several indications, including for women who have early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer after they have had surgery and chemotherapy, as well as for HER2-positive metastatic gastric cancer.
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