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Price cut keeps Kadcyla on CDF

Comes after pressure from campaign groups
Roche

Roche has agreed to cut the cost of its breast cancer therapy Kadcyla in order to keep it available via the UK Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) was one of a clutch of medicines that are due to be culled from the CDF in a bid to rein in overspending on the scheme, which provides access to medicines that have a clear clinical benefit but are deemed too expensive for routine use by the NHS.

Roche has recently been under pressure to reduce the price of the drug - which can extend survival by up to six months in women with incurable secondary breast cancer - from patient groups such as the Breast Cancer Now campaign.

Kadcyla's price has been reported to be around £90,000 per patient per year, but the discount being offered by Roche has not been disclosed.

The company told the Guardian that the original price was £5,900 a year and that most patients were taking it for around nine and a half months - bringing the cost of treatment down to around £60,000, and leading to speculation the new price may be around £50,000.

The managing director of Roche UK, Richard Erwin, said the company "has worked tirelessly with NHS England" to allow patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer to continue to have access to Kadcyla through the CDF.

"This must be the last time that patients are subjected to the uncertainty of cancer drug de-listings," he added. "It is imperative that we all come together to build a pragmatic, flexible and sustainable system for assessing medicines that prioritises clinical value."

Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab) - which was also amongst those set for removal from the CDF - remains off the list for colorectal cancer and triple-negative breast cancer but has now been retained for cervical cancer.

"It's encouraging to learn that Roche and NHS England have been able to come to a deal," said Breast Cancer Now chief executive Delyth Morgan.

However, "patients relying on other de-listed drugs such as the breast cancer drug Avastin for future treatments will no doubt be devastated," she added.

Kadcyla and Avastin are not the only drugs saved from exclusion from the CDF. The others are Pfizer's leukaemia treatment Bosulif (bosutinib), Takeda's Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for Hodgkin's lymphoma and Janssen's sarcoma therapy Caelyx. Bayer's Xofigo (radium-223 dichloride) for castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases remains under appeal.

The current fund will remain in place until 1 April 2016, and NHS England and NICE are scheduled to be discussing proposals for a replacement system in the coming weeks.

Article by
Phil Taylor

5th November 2015

From: Healthcare

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