NHS damns manufacturer for expensive cancer drug

Kadcyla, a breast cancer drug marketed by Roche Products Limited that can give patients an extra six months of life has been turned down by the NHS drugs rationing body as it is too expensive.

Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says “We are really disappointed that Roche were not able to demonstrate more flexibility to help us make a positive recommendation. The company is well aware that we could not have recommend Kadcyla at the price it proposed.”

The manufacturer has hit back at the decision. Dr Jayson Dallas, general manager of Roche, declared it “an incredible injustice.”

“Despite Roche offering a significant discount, we are once again disappointed that Nice has not shown any flexibility on access to Kadcyla. Refusing patients access to this drug is an incredible injustice and tantamount to turning the clock back in cancer research and development. We plan to appeal this decision.”

He said the drug took 30 years to develop and targets the particularly aggressive HER 2 form of cancer. The drug costs £90,000 per patient.