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Wednesday 26 October 2016
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Not enough evidence to recommend old CDF drug, says NICE

NICE has refused to recommend a cancer drug that costs the NHS £87,000 per patient

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has refused to recommend a cancer drug that costs the NHS £87,000 per patient.

NICE has published preliminary draft guidance, which does not recommend brentuximab vedotin, used to treat a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Treatment with the drug, which is on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) list, can cost between £69,000 and £87,000 per patient per course.

The independent committee found that the evidence around the drug’s clinical effectiveness was limited and undeveloped.

NICE also said that the drug could not be considered a cost effective use of NHS resources, meaning that the drug could not be recommended for routine use.

The company behind the drug also stated during the appraisal process that it was not going to put forward a case to include brentuximab vedotin in the new CDF.

They said this was because the patient population was small at around 50-60 eligible patients a year, and argued it was unclear what further information data collection could provide.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “We recognise that people with this type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are difficult to treat, but there is not enough convincing evidence on brentuximab vedotin’s clinical and cost effectiveness to recommend its use within the NHS as representing value for money.

“We understand that this preliminary decision will be disappointing to patients who could be eligible for treatment. But we need to make sure that the drugs and treatments we look at will benefit patients and be a cost effective use of NHS resources.”

Brentuximab vedotin is used to treat CD30-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma, where the condition has relapsed after first-line chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, or the use of stem cell therapy.

Consultees, including the company, healthcare professionals and members of the public are now able to comment on the preliminary recommendations, which are available for public consultation.

Until final guidance is issued to the NHS, brentuximab vedotin will still be available to patients in the old CDF and patients who already receive this drug will be able to continue their treatment.