LONDON Aug 6 Roche's new breast cancer
drug Perjeta is not worth using on Britain's state health
service given its high price and the lack of data showing how
long it might extend life, the country's healthcare cost
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) said on Tuesday it could not be sure of Perjeta's
benefits, adding that not even the manufacturer estimated it
would be considered cost-effective for the National Health
NICE's draft recommendation against using Perjeta is now
open for consultation before final guidance is issued.
Perjeta is designed to be used with Roche's older drug
Herceptin, its second-biggest seller, for women with a form of
cancer known as HER2-positive, which makes up about a quarter of
all breast cancers. It won European approval in March.
It comes with hefty price tag, as a single 420 mg vial costs
2,395 pounds ($3,700). That is the dose recommended for use
every three weeks, after an initial 840 mg loading treatment.
Roche said it had offered a discounted patient access scheme
to the government but the health ministry had not yet made a
decision on its proposal - a delay it strongly criticised.
The latest rebuff from NICE follows a number of previous
rejections for new Roche cancer products that have been deemed
too expensive for use on Britain's National Health Service.
Roche said Perjeta could become the seventh cancer treatment
to be rejected by NICE since 2011, a record the drugmaker
described as "poor and unacceptable."
While NICE raised concerns about lack of evidence for the
drug's impact on overall survival, Roche said clinical trials
had shown that patients taking Perjeta lived on average 6.1
months longer without their cancer getting worse - so-called
progression-free survival - compared with those getting
Herceptin and chemotherapy alone.