Thursday, September 10, 2009

UK Rejects Cancer Drug Due to Cost

(London, England) Proven effective against liver and kidney cancer, Bayer Company's drug Nexavar has been rejected as too expensive by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Britain's healthcare bean-counting watchdog.
Nexavar received a preliminary rebuff from NICE in May but Bayer had hoped to convince the agency Nexavar was worth paying after it put forward a patient access scheme that would have reduced the cost of treatment to the National Health Service.

Bayer said the decision on its drug, known generically as sorafenib, for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma was a blow to patients.

"We thought we had satisfied NICE's criteria for how Nexavar would be assessed -- however, the goal posts appeared to have moved," said Nicole Farmer, the company's British head of oncology.

"This proposal by NICE conflicts dramatically with the government's strategy to bring UK cancer outcomes in-line with the rest of Europe, where Nexavar is already widely available in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, and Greece."

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of all primary liver tumors.
Ironically, those cancer patients denied the most advanced health treatments and potential greater longevity can only blame NICE people. British patients must unfortunately be satisfied that they receive the very best health care that bureaucrats can provide.

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