NICE asks for more information on skin cancer drug

Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 14:45
Written by Scott Buckler

NICE, the healthcare guidance body, has issued draft guidance requesting Roche, the manufacturer of vemurafenib (Zelboraf) provides further information on the use of their drug for the treatment of unresectable locally advanced or metastatic BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma

NICE published draft guidance not recommending vemurafenib for consultation in June. Publication of this new draft follows the submission of additional analysis on the cost effectiveness of the drug by the manufacturer. The new draft guidance has been issued today (10 August) for consultation. Until final guidance is issued to the NHS, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments. Once NICE issues its final guidance on a technology, it replaces local recommendations across the country.

Commenting on the new draft recommendations, Professor Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said: "We need to be sure that new treatments provide sufficient benefits to patients to justify the significant cost the NHS is being asked to pay. Vemurafenib is an expensive drug and its long term benefits are difficult to quantify.

"During consultation on the first draft recommendations, the manufacturer of vemurafenib submitted additional analyses on the effectiveness of the drug in relation to its cost. When it was asked to consider this new information, our independent advisory committee concluded that they required further clarification to be able to make the decision to recommend or not recommend it for routine use in the NHS. It has therefore asked the manufacturer provide further analyses and clarification.

"We hope that Roche will be able to provide this additional information so that the Committee can consider it at its next meeting on the topic."

Source: ©NICE

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