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17.07.19

NICE approves breast cancer drug combination on Cancer Drugs Fund

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved a new potentially life-extending drug combination for some people with advanced breast cancer, meaning it will now be an option available to them on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

The positive recommendation follows an improved patient access scheme by the company as part of a commercial arrangement.

The draft guidance, where the NICE approval was published, recommends ribociclib (often commercially called Kisqali) with fulvestrant as an option for people with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have had previous endocrine therapy.

Taken once-daily in pill form, ribociclib is a type of drug that works work by inhibiting proteins in cancer cells, thereby preventing the cells from dividing and growing.

The treatment could be an option for up to 5,300 women who have already had endocrine treatment.

READ MORE: New Cancer Drugs Fund opens

NICE has already approved another, similar drug, abemaciclib, also used with fulvestrant, for the same indication within the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “Treatments that can postpone disease progression are important because they can reduce the number of people who are exposed to the often unpleasant side-effects of chemotherapy, and delay the need for its use in others.

“We are pleased therefore that the company has agreed a commercial arrangement for ribociclib that will allow it to be made available to people with this type of breast cancer.” 

Ribociclib with fulvestrant will be available to NHS patients in England immediately. Subject to appeal, NICE’s final guidance will be published next month (August 2019).

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