In draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has not recommended the drug vedolizumab (Entyvio) to treat people with Crohn’s disease.
NICE said the expert committee appraising the drug had decided that the evidence for its efficacy was “too uncertain” and that the drug “was not likely” to represent good value for the NHS.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the institute’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: “Unfortunately the maker of vedolizumab did not give the committee enough information to show how well it worked when compared to other treatments.
“Unfortunately, because the committee could not be sure that vedolizumab worked at least as well as other currently available drugs they concluded that vedolizumab was unlikely to be a cost-effective use of NHS money,” added Professor Longson.
“We are disappointed not to be able to say ‘yes’ to this drug,” she said. “Fortunately effective drugs are already available within the NHS for Crohn’s disease.”
“We have to be sure that a drug is both effective and cost-effective before it can be recommended”
Healthcare professionals and members of the public are able to comment on the preliminary recommendations, which are available for consultation until 27 January.
Final guidance on the use of vedolizumab, which is manufactured by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, is expected to be published in May.
Until then, NICE told NHS bodies they should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments for Crohn’s disease, which affects about 115,000 people in the UK.