Roche lung cancer pill gets reprieve in UK reversal

LONDON Thu Apr 3, 2014 7:08pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's health cost watchdog NICE on Friday reversed an earlier decision to limit the use of Roche's Tarceva cancer pill on the state health service in a move the drugmaker said would help around 2,000 patients a year.

New draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) now backs use of Tarceva for people with non-small-cell lung cancer that has progressed after chemotherapy in wider circumstances than originally suggested.

NICE said its decision to maintain Tarceva access followed new evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of the drug, and also took into account the side-effect profile of the chemotherapy alternative.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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