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NICE backs GSK’s Tafinlar for skin cancer

Joins Yervoy and Zelboraf as a recommended melanoma treatment
GSK HQ Brentford

The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued final guidance recommending Tafinlar (dabrafenib) for the treatment of certain NHS patients with melanoma.

The drug, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is recommended for people whose melanoma has spread or cannot be completely removed by surgery and which tests positive for the BRAF V600 mutation.

The recommendation is based on GSK providing the drug at a discount through a patient access scheme. This was agreed in earlier NICE guidance published last month.

Commenting on the guidance, Prof Carole Longson, centre for health technology evaluation director at NICE, said: "For a long time the treatments available for skin cancer which has spread have been very limited. However, in recent years a number of breakthrough treatments that potentially significantly improve the prognosis for some people with malignant melanoma have become available.

"NICE was able to publish this final guidance quickly and speed up access – in less than three months since the committee first met to discuss the treatment."

Tafinlar can now compete in England and Wales on an equal footing with Roche's Zelboraf (vemurafenib) and Astellas/Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab), both of which are already recommended by NICE.

NICE said the information provided by GSK suggested that Taflinar works as well as Zelboraf, which also targets the BRAF V600 mutations.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

22nd October 2014

From: Sales, Healthcare

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