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New skin cancer drug Yervoy rejected for use on NHS

Published on 14/10/2011

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has rejected new skin cancer drug for use on the NHS, but patients with private medical insurance may be able to secure funding for it in the future.

Ipilimumab, marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb as Yervoy, teaches the immune system to fight melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Half of patients given the drug in clinical trials were still alive a year later, twice as many as those given traditional chemotherapy.

In addition, 24 per cent were still alive at two years compared with 14 per cent of those who did not take the drug. The average survival rate was 10.1 months compared with 6.4 months among those who did not take it. Scientists say that the drug has huge benefits over traditional chemotherapy.

As ActiveQuote has previously reported, the four injections of Yervoy cost almost £80,000 per person in total. NICE has concluded that the drug was not a cost effective use of NHS resources. Now, the only way sufferers without health insurance can access the drug is by applying through the Government Cancer Drugs Fund.

In a joint statement, the support group Factor 50 and charity SKCIN said: “Standard treatments that have been available since the 1970s are ineffective.

"To deny this drug to patients, many of whom are young and with very young families, has undoubtedly handed them down a death sentence.”

Patients who already have private medical insurance may be able to secure funding for this on their policy. As a licensed drug, Yervoy should be funded by Bupa, AXA PPP healthcare, AVIVA and PruHealth, although this will depend on your policy.

Patients currently without health insurance may also be covered for use of Yervoy in the future, if they purchase a policy before developing skin cancer. Compare health insurance policies online now to secure peace of mind about your future health.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
New skin cancer drug Yervoy rejected for use on NHSNICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has rejected new skin cancer drug for use on the NHS, but patients with privat    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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