National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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NICE recommends Enhertu for more people with advanced breast cancer

Hundreds more people eligible for breast cancer drug Enhertu as NICE recommends it for earlier stage disease, in final draft guidance.

Today’s decision means NICE has recommended all 18 treatments for breast cancer it has looked at since 2018.

There is no cure for advanced breast cancer, so treatment aims to stop the disease getting worse, extend life, and maintain or improve quality of life for as long as possible.

Clinical trial evidence shows that Enhertu increases how long people have before their cancer gets worse compared with standard care with trastuzumab emtansine.

However, there is not enough evidence yet to show how much longer people live with Enhertu compared with trastuzumab emtansine because the clinical trial is still ongoing. This means the cost-effectiveness estimates are highly uncertain and Enhertu cannot be recommended for routine use in the NHS.

The independent appraisal committee concluded that Enhertu could be cost-effective if further evidence from the ongoing trial and from NHS practice can show how much longer people live with treatment. So, Enhertu is recommended for use within a managed access arrangement. This means people can have the treatment while more evidence about its effectiveness is generated. NICE will then use this data to recommend whether the medicine should be made routinely available on the NHS.

Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, said:  “Today’s draft guidance is good news for people with this type of advanced breast cancer, who often experience severe and debilitating symptoms.

“It also means NICE has made positive recommendations in all 18 of its appraisals of breast cancer medicines since March 2018. These are all now available for clinicians to use in the treatment of thousands of NHS patients and demonstrate how NICE works successfully at the interface of health and care and the life sciences industry to enable early access to innovation.” 

NHS England Cancer Drugs Fund Clinical Lead Professor Peter Clark said: “This cutting-edge drug will give hundreds of patients with secondary incurable breast cancer hope, increasing the amount of time people have before their cancer gets worse, and allowing them to live normal, healthy lives for longer.

“The NHS is committed to providing the very best treatments for its patients and trastuzumab deruxtecan is just the latest of more than 100 cancer treatments that have been fast-tracked for use on the NHS through the Cancer Drugs Fund, benefitting more than 80,000 patients.”

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