11. May 2012 11:38
NICE has failed to recommend the use of Sanofi’s Jevtana (cabazitaxel) in final guidance in combination with prednisone or prednisolone as a second line treatment for prostate cancer.
Concerns were raised by NICE’s Appraisal Committee over the cost of the treatment and its side-effects, including haematological adverse events and diarrhoea.
Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE, said the Committee queried the “nature of the health-related quality of life information” provided by Sanofi.
Sanofi had appealed the decision not to recommend the treatment however, this was dismissed on all points.
NICE recognised that Jevtana resulted in a mean improvement of greater than three months in mean overall survival. But the Committee considered that its cost per QALY gained would exceed £87,500 – considerably higher than the most expensive treatment it has recommended at £50,000.
Additionally, the numerous side-effects, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting and constipation, associated with Jevtana raised concerns with the Appraisal Committee.
“We need to be sure that new treatments provide sufficient benefits to patients to justify the significant resources the NHS would need to make available,” said Sir Andrew.
“Although cabazitaxel can extend life for some patients, its price remains well above what the independent Committee appraising this drug considered acceptable, given the benefits it offers.”