The latest life extending breast cancer drug from Roche has come in for scathing criticism from the UK healthcare watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE contented that the cost of the drug Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), is unjustified. NICE has also stated that it will not be able to include the drug in the National Health Service if the prices are not reduced.

NICE Chief Executive Andrew Dillon said reported by Reuters Health,”We had hoped that Roche would have recognized the challenge the NHS faces in managing the adoption of expensive new treatments by reducing the cost of Kadcyla to the NHS,”

The new Breast Cancer Drug can cost up to 90,831 pounds or $152,496 per patient. Roche has justifies the costs since the company has invested years of hard work for the project. The drug is available for women with advanced breast cancer till 2016 under the Cancer Drug Fund. However if the price of the drugs are not reduced, the drug will not be available on NHS.

Women with HER2-postiive breast cancer that is not operable can benefit from the new drug Kadcyla which can kill the cancer cells from within and add up to six months to the life of the patient. HER2-postiive breast cancer is inoperable and spreads to other regions of the body. The body also stops responding to initial treatment.

The latest drug Kascyla represents a big leap in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. However the exorbitant cost has forced NICE to issue a negative preliminary guidance and according to Professor Paul Ellis, a consultant oncologist at King’s College London, this could be a serious blow in the search for a cure for HER 2-positive breast cancer. Professor Paul Ellis has been using the drug on his patients

Dillon stated, according to BBC News, “We hope the manufacturer will act in the best interests of patients and use this consultation period to look again at their evidence and consider if there is more they can do.”


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  1. Bernice Frona

    Why on earth would ANYONE want to spend that much money for a mere six more months of life? My mother died from breast cancer; if she had spent the money wasted on futile treatments on having a few last good times instead, she wouldn’t be any less dead. We all die in the end, but HOW we live and die is just as important as how long we live, maybe more so.


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