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NICE first fast-track appraisal backs Bayer's Eylea

But company will have to reduce its cost through a patient access scheme


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued its first fast-track guidance, recommending Bayer’s Eylea (aflibercep) in choroidal neovascularisation (CNV).

The drug will consequently be made available to patients in England and Wales almost five months earlier than if it had gone through the usual NICE procedure.

There are approximately 3,200 people in England living with CNV - which can lead to visual impairments such as the loss of central vision - and it’s a setting where Eylea will compete against Novartis’ already NICE-recommended Lucentis (ranibizumab).

In doing so cost will now be the deciding factor, with NICE’s draft guidance noting that where both are considered suitable by patients and their clinicians “the least costly should be used”.

On top this, Bayer has also agreed a patient access scheme - the details of which are, as is usually the case, ‘commercial in confidence’ - to reduce the cost of its intravitreal injection to the NHS.

NICE’s fast track procedure is designed to give patients faster access to the most cost-effective treatments, that is those with an anticipated incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of less than £10,000 per QALY gained.

The process is also an option to treatments that display similar health benefits at a similar, or lower cost, than treatments recommended in published appraisal guidance for the same indication.

The final guidance on Eylea is due to be published on 1 November 2017, with the drug to be made routinely available from 1 December 2017.

Article by
Gemma Jones

27th September 2017

From: Regulatory



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