LONDON, June 16 Britain's healthcare
cost-effectiveness watchdog NICE said on Monday it needed more
information about Gilead Sciences' pricey new hepatitis
C drug Sovaldi before deciding if it should be used on the state
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
said it was "minded not to recommend" the drug, which is also
known as sofosbuvir. The decision poses a hurdle to its
widespread adoption in Britain.
"The available evidence shows that sofosbuvir is an
effective treatment for chronic hepatitis C in certain
patients," said Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for
Health Technology Evaluation.
"However, evidence is lacking for some subgroups of patients
with chronic hepatitis C, and there are also substantial
uncertainties in the evidence base presented by the
Sovaldi is far more effective and better-tolerated than
older treatments, but its high cost has provoked criticism from
healthcare campaigners and insurers.
The U.S. price for a 12-week course of treatment with
Sovaldi is $84,000, or $1,000 for each once-daily pill. The
price in Britain has been set lower at around 35,000 pounds
($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Louise Heavens)