UK cost agency says 'no' to Bayer prostate cancer drug Xofigo

LONDON Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:03pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's healthcare cost agency has recommended against using Bayer's new prostate cancer drug Xofigo on the state health service because the German firm did not provide evidence on how well it worked compared to other therapies.

The draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), issued on Monday, is now subject to consultation.

"We are disappointed not to able to recommend this drug, but we have to be confident that its benefits justify its considerable cost," said NICE Chief Executive Andrew Dillon.

Xofigo - priced at an average 24,240 pounds ($40,000) for a course of treatment but also eligible for an undisclosed discount - is a radioactive agent that migrates to parts of the body with abnormal bone growth.

Bayer clinched a $2.9 billion deal last month to acquire Norway's Algeta in order to gain full control of the treatment, which the two companies developed jointly. ($1 = 0.6057 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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