Government promises new money for cancer drugs after NICE rejects liver cancer treatment

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 26 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2832
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    The new coalition government has reiterated its pre-election promise to give patients access to expensive treatments by emphasising the advisory nature of guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) after the agency rejected a drug for the treatment of advanced liver cancer for use on the NHS because of its cost.

    NICE guidance on sorafenib (Nexavar) for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma says the drug should not be used in the NHS because its high cost cannot be justified by the small benefit it gives patients.

    In response to the guidance the department of health said that primary care trusts should “consider carefully whether there are particular local or individual circumstances that would make it appropriate to fund sorafenib, or other …

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