NICE approves first new drug for breast cancer in a decade

pharmafile | November 3, 2016 | News story | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing  

NICE has approved Eisai’s Halaven (eribulin) for routine treatment of sufferers of locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has spread after two chemotherapy regimens. The decision reverses a previous decision taken in 2012 to reject the drug, on costings and trial data grounds.

The decision to approve the drug was based upon new evidence that the drug could display substantial benefits over standard treatment. This includes the figure that sufferers could potentially gain an average three months of life through the treatment.

Halaven is the first new treatment approved for patients with metastatic breast cancer in over a decade. The last case being Gemzar, which was green-lighted in January 2007. The frustration at the long delay of four years since their last rejection was clear in a statement released by Eisai:

“Eribulin was approved in March 2011 and after years of uncertainty for patients and poor management of the Cancer Drugs Fund, people with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer in England will finally now have routine access to eribulin. Over a period of more than five years Eisai has shown great flexibility in pricing to maintain patient access to eribulin both in the CDF and with NICE and would like the same opportunity to enable access to our newer cancer drug lenvatinib for radioiodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer patients, however so far an unacceptable process has again taken precedence over patients,” commented Gary Hendler, chairman & CEO of Eisai.

Ben Hargreaves

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