Halaven (eribulin) has not been recommended by the SMC as a treatment option for locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer on the NHS in Scotland.
The Consortium analysed data from Phase III trials which showed patients had 2.5 months additional survival compared to existing treatments, but considered Halaven too expensive.
Nick Burgin, European Director of Market Access, Eisai, says the company is “hugely disappointed” and plans a resubmission later in the year to “reverse this unfair decision”.
Eisai launched Halaven in the UK in April and claims the price of the drug in Scotland is at “the lowest anywhere in the world”.
The medication is a novel monotherapy treatment indicated for patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens for advanced disease.
Eisai says it is the first single agent chemotherapy to demonstrate prolonged overall survival who have had prior anthracycline and taxane treatment.
During the appraisal, the Consortium analysed data from the EMBRACE trials which showed a median overall survival benefit of 13.2 months for patients receiving Halaven compared to 10.5 months for patients receiving a ‘treatment of physician’s choice’.
Andrew Wilson, Chief Executive of the UK Rarer Cancers Foundation, says the decision highlights the discrimination women north of the border currently face. “Scottish women with advanced breast cancer are currently prejudiced in Scotland as their chances of accessing a life extending cancer drug are now much lower than their neighbours in England”, he said.
“Our recent report ‘Nations Divided’ uncovered a profound difference in the availability of new cancer medicines between Scotland and England. Following the implementation of the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) in England, patients in Scotland are now three times less likely than patients in England to receive the drugs that their clinician wishes to prescribe.”
Halaven is currently approved in the European Union, USA, Switzerland, Japan, and Singapore but recently failed a similar appraisal by NICE in draft guidance who raised concerns about the medication’s side effects.