* NICE backs Roche's Zelboraf and Bristol's Yervoy
* Move follows offers of price discounts in UK
LONDON Nov 2 Two new drugs for skin cancer have
been recommended for use on Britain's state-run health service
after the rival manufacturers - Roche and Bristol-Myers
Squibb - agreed to cut their prices.
The move underscores the growing pressure on drug companies
to cut deals with austerity-hit European governments in order to
prove their expensive new medicines offer value for money.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) said on Friday it had issued final draft guidance
recommending both Roche's Zelboraf and Bristol's Yervoy after
the companies offered undisclosed discounts.
NICE, which determines if products should be used by the
National Health Service (NHS), had initially rejected both
medicines, despite acknowledging that they represented a
breakthrough in treating melanoma.
The list price for Zelboraf, which is only suitable for
patients with a particular genetic profile, is 52,500 pounds
($84,600) for an average treatment span of seven months.
The price of a four-dose course of Yervoy, which is
recommended only for people who have received prior
chemotherapy, is 75,000 pounds.