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NICE backs drug as second-line option for kidney cancer

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended the use of axitinib (Inlyta) for treating kidney cancer by the NHS.

The oral drug, marketed by Pfizer, should be available as a second-line treatment for kidney cancer, according to final guidance from NICE.

It is recommended as an option for treating adults with advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with a first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitor or a cytokine.

The drug has a recommended starting dose of 5mg twice daily, which may be increased to 7mg and then up to 10mg, or decreased to 3mg and then down to 2mg.

Axitinib is available in 1mg and 5mg film-coated tablets at net prices of £703.40 and £3,517 per 56-tablet pack.

“We are pleased to confirm that axitinib will be made available through the NHS after first-line treatments have failed”

Carole Longson

Pfizer has agreed a patient access scheme with the Department of Health, but due to commercial confidence the size of the discount has not been disclosed.

Professor Carole Longson, director of NICE’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: “NICE has previously recommended two drugs for advanced renal cell carcinoma, sunitinib and pazopanib both as first-line treatments.

“We are pleased to confirm that axitinib will be made available through the NHS for patients after these first-line treatments have failed,” she said.

Based on the evidence available and the discount on the cost of the drug offered by Pfizer, the committee concluded that axitinib would offer good value for NHS money,” she added.

In separate guidance published today, NICE has rejected sipuleucel-T (Dendreon) for the treatment of prostate cancer on grounds of cost.

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