Britain's NICE sidelines Kadcyla

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Kadcyla pulled in $173 million in sales since its introduction in the US market in February
Britain's NICE sidelines Kadcyla

Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has followed through on its Kadcyla objections and has said Roche's breast cancer drug will remain off the National Health Service's formulary because it is too expensive. NICE put the full list price of the HER2-positive breast cancer treatment, which goes by the INN name trastuzumab emtansine, at around $151,000.

The government agency warned in its April draft guidance that it could not recommend the drug because the benefits did not justify the price. It firmed up this position in last week's final draft guidance.

Andrew Dillon, who heads up NICE, said in a statement that even with Roche's proposed price break, the lower cost “made little difference to its value for money, leaving it well above the top of our specially extended range of cost effectiveness for cancer drugs.”

Kadcyla is available in the UK, but as part of its Cancer Drugs Fund, as opposed to through the National Health Service's broader specialized commissioning budget, which means it is available to a relatively small pool of patients.

The high price has not deterred other markets from using the drug. Roche noted in its half-year assessment that HER2-positive breast cancer medications drove the 4% uptick in pharmaceutical sales for the first six months of the year. Sales of these drugs, which include Perjeta ($428 million), Kadcyla ($250 million) and the older Herceptin ($3.4 billion), were up 20% compared to the same six-month period last year.

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