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NICE backs new drug for advanced kidney cancer in draft guidance

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A new drug for treating advanced kidney cancer has been backed in draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

NICE has today issued new final draft guidance recommending axitinib (Inlyta) for renal cell carcinoma, after a discount was agreed with its manufacturer.  

Axitinib 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, such as sunitinib and pazopanib.

Axitinib is available in 1mg and 5mg film-coated tablets at net prices of £703.40 and £3,517 per 56-tablet pack. It is administered orally at a recommended starting dose of 5mg twice daily.

Its manufacturer Pfizer has agreed a patient access scheme with the Department of Health, though the size of the discount has not been made public for commercial reasons.

Professor Carole Longson, director of NICE’s health technology evaluation centre, said: “NICE was asked by the Department of Health to look at axitinib for people who have already been treated with a cytokine or a drug known as a kinase inhibitor.

Professor Carole Longson

Professor Carole Longson

“This draft guidance recommends that the NHS provides axitinib for these patients,” she said.

Although, this recommendation has not changed since the previous draft guidance, the updated draft includes some clarification around prescribing axitinib.

“The independent appraisal committee carefully considered the available evidence, including the discount offered by the company that market the drug and concluded that axitinib should be offered by the NHS.”

The draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it.

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