Breast cancer drug rejected by watchdog

A drug to improve survival rates of progressive breast cancer will not be available on the NHS

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has failed to approve a drug for the treatment of breast cancer.

Avastin, also known as bevacizumab, will not be available on the NHS after NICE announced it was unclear whether it improved survival rates.

‘We understand the need for effective treatments that can help patients live for as long as possible with a good quality of life,’ says NICE chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon.

‘However, the evidence submitted to our independent appraisal committee did not conclusively show that bevacizumab could do either.’

NICE says making the drug available on the NHS is not a good use of resources because of its high costs and the lack of evidence that it improves the lives of breast cancer sufferers.

‘We want to ensure people have access to the best treatments the NHS can afford,’ says Sir Dillon. ‘Bevacizumab has so far not been proven to be clinically or cost-effective.’


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