Appeal launched as NICE rules out lung cancer treatment

Roche is to launch on appeal against NICE after its drug Tarceva (erlotinib) was ruled out for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

The final appraisal determination from NICE does not approve oral tablet Tarceva (erlotinib) as a cost-effective option for the second line treatment of non-small lung cancer.

The decision by NICE could potentially deny 2,300 lung cancer patients a year one of their last hopes of treatment. 

Roche has criticised NICE for failing to appropriately utilise the available evidence base in their appraisal and argues that the drug should be made available as it is considered clinically and cost effective in Scotland and all of Western Europe.

John Melville, Roche's UK pharmaceutical general manager, said: ‘We used to talk about postcode prescribing. This is passport prescribing, where Tarceva is available in all of Western Europe, except England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

‘We are convinced along with a majority of other countries that Tarceva is cost-effective.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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