There has been some excellent news for women up and down the country suffering from breast cancer this month, with the NHS announcing that it will now make an innovative breast cancer drug available to patients.
Kadcyla was previously rejected for use on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on cost grounds, much to campaigners’ dismay.
However, the NHS has revealed that it has struck a deal with manufacturer Roche to lower the cost of providing the drug. At its full list price, it would have cost the NHS around £90,000 per patient.
The new price has not been disclosed, but Kadcyla will now be routinely available on the NHS. It is licensed for use in those with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is not responding to other treatment.
Taking Kadcyla can extend patients’ lives by around six months, as well as improving their quality of life during that time.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, described the decision as “exceptionally good news”.
She added that she was “absolutely delighted” that the NHS and NICE had shown flexibility, and that Roche had agreed to compromise on price, noting that this means “thousands of women with incurable breast cancer will be given precious time to live”.
This isn’t the only recent example where a drug company has made a compromise to help patients. Last month, Pfizer announced it would provide Ibrance (palbociclib) for free for five months while NICE deliberates over its funding for use on the NHS.
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