National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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Head and neck cancer drug is not cost-effective

Cetuximab is not value for money says NICE in new draft guidance

Head and neck cancer drug is not cost-effective

NICE does not recommend head and neck cancer drug cetuximab in draft guidance out for consultation.

In 2009 when NICE originally looked at cetuximab it found it was not cost effective, and  it was later made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund.

NICE has looked again at cetuximab as part of its programme to appraise drugs that are currently available on the CDF and found that despite new evidence and a drop in price it was still not cost effective

Professor Carole Longson, director of the health technology evaluation centre at NICE said: “When we originally appraised cetuximab there were uncertainties in the evidence and we were therefore unable to recommend it for routine funding on the NHS.

“The company has addressed some of these concerns but significant uncertainties remain. This decision not to recommend cetuximab as an option for treating mouth cancer will be disappointing for some patients.

“However we need to make sure the NHS makes the most of its resources by only funding treatments that are both clinically effective and represent good value for money.”

The draft guidance is open for public consultation until 22 November 2016.

Until final guidance is issued to the NHS, cetuximab will remain available to patients in the old CDF. Patients who already receive this drug will be able to continue their treatment.


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