Kidney cancer patients denied drug that can extend their lives by killer quango NICE

Having wasted a few reports recently on extending the nanny state by battering voters into not eating fat food the killer quango NICE has now decided to prematurely kill cancer patients.
Kidney cancer patients denied drug that can extend their lives by killer quango NICEKidney cancer patients will not be allowed a new drug that could extend their lives by up to three months because it is too expensive, the NHS drug rationing body has said.

The National Institute for Curbing Expenditure has turned down the drug called everolimus, also known as Afinitor, saying it does not offer enough benefit to patients to justify the cost.

Each pack of the drug costs £2,822 and the manufacturer, Novartis, had offered the first pack free to the NHS and a five per cent discount on following ones.

But even with this, and taking into account new guidance on end of life drugs which allows Nice to approve more expensive drugs that extend life for patients with rare diseases, the treatment was still too expensive, the panel decided.

An estimated eight week cycle of treatment would cost £5,264 per patient.

The cost per quality adjusted life year gained, a complex calculation taking into account improvement in quality of life as well as extra length of life versus the cost of the new drug over and above existing treatments, is almost double what Nice would normally allow.

Around 4,000 people a year in England and Wales are diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer and those who would be eligible for treatment because they had already tried the other drug, called Sutent, and were still fit enough to attempt another drug, would be much fewer, Nice said in a statement.

Patient groups hit out at the draft guidance saying people with rare cancers were being penalised.

Last year patients with advanced kidney cancer campaigned after four drugs including Sutent were turned down. Nice partially reversed the decision and Sutent is now available.

Mike Hobday, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are disappointed by Nice’s decision not to make everolimus available on the NHS for people living with advanced kidney cancer, who already have limited treatment options following the rejection of three clinically effective drugs last year.”

“It’s unfair that patients suffering from rarer cancers are repeatedly denied treatments that could extend their lives. Drugs like everolimus can dramatically improve people’s quality of life. They can mean the difference between patients being given a few weeks to live and a few months – valuable time that can be spent with family and friends, which means a lot to cancer patients.”

Nick Turkentine, Chief Operating Officer for the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer said: “Once again Nice has disappointed the thousands of kidney cancer sufferers in the UK by not approving everolimus, a drug which gives terminal kidney cancer patients and their families some hope.”


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