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Fate of new cancer drug is uncertain in Netherlands, as institute deems it too costly

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 15 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6778
  1. Pieter van Eijsden
  1. 1Amsterdam

The future of a newly licensed drug to treat lung cancer hangs in the balance in the Netherlands after the country’s National Health Care Institute (ZIN) found that its cost would be €134 000 (£97 000; $150 000) per quality adjusted life year (QALY) saved. This would be the first time in the Netherlands for a drug not to be reimbursed for financial reasons.

Nivolumab, which is used to treat squamous cell lung cancer, is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and until now has been provided free by the company. It was approved by the European …

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