UK finds Roche bladder cancer drug too costly for routine use

FILE PHOTO: Swiss drugmaker Roche's logo is seen at their headquarters in Basel, Switzerland January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s healthcare cost-effectiveness agency NICE has decided Roche’s new immunotherapy drug Tecentriq is too expensive to justify its routine use to treat bladder cancer, but still hopes it can be used in certain circumstances.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said the drug was not cost-effective for patients who had received chemotherapy, but it might be worth giving to untreated patients or those who cannot have cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

NICE, which decides if medicines should be used on the state health service, urged Roche to submit a proposal for Tecentriq to be used under the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), which would allow the collection of more evidence in this setting.

The CDF offers an alternative source of funding and is designed to provide access to promising treatments.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by David Clarke