NICE says drug for metastatic breast cancer is unaffordable for NHS

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 23 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2888
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

A drug for metastatic breast cancer should not be used in the NHS in England because it is not effective enough to justify its £90 000 (€110 000; $150 000) cost, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said.

In its draft guidance1 NICE said that trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla, manufactured by Roche) would most likely be given as second line treatment for people with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer who were not suitable for surgery and who had stopped responding to initial treatment with trastuzumab and a taxane.

Trastuzumab emtansine is a combination of trastuzumab, which targets HER2 cells, and the chemotherapy agent DM1. …

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