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NICE overturns negative Glivec guidance

Recommends drug for reimbursement in GIST four years after rejection
NICE overturns negative Glivec guidance

Four years after being turned down for NHS reimbursement Novartis' cancer drug Glivec has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in patients with gastro-intestinal stromal tumour (GIST).

NICE, which provides healthcare guidance for England and Wales, said the drug should be available on the NHS for up to three years for people who have had a GIST removed and who are at high risk of the cancer recurring.

It overturns guidance released in August 2010 when NICE declined to recommend Glivec (imatinib), with chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon stating: “it is not clear that it increases survival or that it improves patients' quality of life.”

Novartis has since provided more evidence supporting the use of the drug, known as Gleevec in certain regions.

Prof Carole Longson, director of NICE's health technology evaluation centre, said: “Since the publication of the original guidance, clear evidence has emerged showing that giving imatinib after surgery can delay the recurrence of GISTs and in some cases increase survival.

“This updated guidance means that the NHS will provide imatinib for these patients.”

The new guidance brings NICE in line with its Scottish equivalent – the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) – which recommended Glivec in a GIST indication in 2010.

Glivec is Novartis' biggest selling pharmaceutical product, taking in in nearly $4.7bn during 2013. Its huge success is partly down to the multitude of cancer indications for which it is approved, including chronic myeloid leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and sarcoma.

Article by
Thomas Meek

28th November 2014

From: Sales

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