NICE responds to Daily Mail story on cancer drugs
The Chairman of NICE, Sir Michael Rawlins, today sent the following letter to Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Health; Andrew Lansley; Shadow Secretary of State for Health; Norman Lamb MP, Shadow Health Secretary; and Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail
Daily Mail: 9 April 2010
You may have read, in today's Daily Mail, a story about a Mrs Nikki Phelps who has multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1) and who has been denied treatment by her PCT with Sutent. I have no knowledge of Mrs Phelp's circumstances but Sutent, for this indication, has never been referred to us for appraisal and has no Marketing Authorisation for this indication.
The Daily Mail, in the same article, also states that that “NICE has delivered 15 rejections of cancer treatments in the past 18 months” and provides a list. This list is factually inaccurate. The situation, for the drugs mentioned, is as follows:
Yondelis: Recommended Feb 2010
Hycamtin (lung cancer): Recommended Nov 2009
Hycamtin (recurrent cervical cancer): Recommended Oct 2009
Sutent (gastrointestinal stromal tumours): Recommended Sept 2009
Alimta (non-small cell lung cancer): Recommended Sept 2009
Erbitux (colorectal cancer): Recommended Aug 2009
Avastin (advanced renal cell cancer): Rejected Aug 2009
Nexavar (advanced renal cell cancer): Rejected Aug 2009
Sutent (advanced renal cell cancer, second line): Rejected Aug 2009
Torisel (advanced renal cell cancer): Rejected Aug 2009
Mabthera (CLL): Recommended July 2009
Erbitux (head and neck cancer): Recommended June 2008
Revlimid (myeloma): Recommended June 2009
Sutent (advanced renal cell cancer, first line): Recommended Mar 2009
Tarceva: (non-small cell lung cancer): Not appraised (no guidance)
In summary, of the 15 products allegedly rejected by NICE:
- 10 were recommended
- 4 were rejected
- 1 no appraisal has been published.
In the case of the one product where no appraisal has been published (Tarceva), the manufacturer withdrew their application because they had very significant additional information which wished to incorporate in their submission. This resubmission is currently under review by NICE.
I hope this clarifies the position but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you need further information.
Professor Sir Michael Rawlins FMedSci
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
9 April 2010
For more information on NICE's cancer drug appraisals since 2008 read our fact sheet
This page was last updated: 13 April 2010