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Roche's Tarceva gets approval from NICE

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has approved Roche’s lung cancer drug Tarceva for use on the NHS after the Swiss company agreed to reduce the price

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved Roche's lung cancer drug Tarceva for use on the NHS after the Swiss company agreed to reduce the price.

NICE guidance states that Tarceva is recommended as an alternative to sanofi-aventis' Taxotere for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have failed to respond to one round of chemotherapy treatment.

Tarceva, which is administered in tablet form (rather than by injection), is offered to the NHS at a price about 15 per cent less than previously meaning the total costs would equal those of Taxotere. NICE states in its guidance documents that sanofi-aventis has offered a discount of at least 12.5 per cent on the list price of Taxotere for NHS trusts.

The regulator states that Roche's drug is only to be used when the overall treatment cost, which includes staffing for administration and monitoring of the medicine and the treatment of side effects, does not exceed the cost of treatment with Taxotere.

26th November 2008

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