LONDON Nov 10 AstraZeneca's breast
cancer drug Faslodex has been rejected for use on Britain's
state health service, dealing a blow to a product that has been
on the market in Europe since 2004.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) said on Thursday in its final appraisal that it had not
found any evidence Faslodex worked significantly better than
existing treatments, so its widespread use would not be a good
use of resources.
AstraZeneca had estimated Faslodex, an injection, could
extend life when compared to using the company's own aromatase
inhibitor tablets Arimidex or Novartis's Femara, but
NICE found this to be "considerably uncertain".
The first month of Faslodex treatment costs 1,044.82 pounds
($1,666), on account of the additional loading dose, and 522.41
pounds a month thereafter, according to NICE.
A month's supply of anastrozole, the active ingredient in
Arimidex, which is now off patent, costs just 5.99 pounds and
Femara is priced at 84.86 pounds.
Faslodex is designed for postmenopausal women who have
oestrogen-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer and who have
already received anti-oestrogen therapy, such as tamoxifen.
AstraZeneca said Faslodex was already reimbursed in over
50 markets around the world and the company would continue to
work with local health authorities in Britain for continued
access to the medicine, where possible.
The company had been hoping for a change of heart after NICE
reached a preliminary decision against Faslodex in August.
Worldwide sales of Faslodex totalled $397 million in the
first nine months of 2011.