National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Printable version

NICE approves routine use of drug combination for advanced breast cancer

Another life-extending drug combination for some people with advanced breast cancer will now be available for routine use in the NHS following its approval by NICE in final draft guidance published today (23 September 2022).

Palbociclib (also called Ibrance and made by Pfizer) given with fulvestrant, another type of anti-cancer treatment, is recommended for adults with a type of advanced breast cancer called hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer who have already had hormone therapy.

Palbociclib has been available through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) since 2020 while more evidence was collected to address uncertainties around how much it increases how long people live and its cost-effectiveness.

Taken once-daily in pill form, palbociclib is a type of drug called a cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor. These work by inhibiting proteins in cancer cells, preventing the cells from dividing and growing.

Palbociclib joins 15 other breast cancer medicines approved by NICE since 2018, potentially benefitting tens of thousands of people.

Helen Knight, interim director of medicines evaluation at NICE, said:

“Today’s decision is fantastic news for up to 2,400 people with advanced breast cancer who have already had endocrine treatment. It provides a further valuable treatment option that can increase the time they remain in good health, and to delay the need for chemotherapy and its associated side-effects.

“It is further proof of the success of the Cancer Drugs Fund in giving tens of thousands of patients early access to promising new cancer treatments while more evidence is gathered on their clinical and cost-effectiveness.

“As our evaluation of palbociclib shows, this process works well when companies engage with NICE and NHS England to price their medicines reasonably and present a clear case for additional evidence to be gathered while they’re in the CDF.”


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Adoption of Intelligent Automation in the Public Sector