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NICE recommends gefitinib for non small cell lung cancer

In draft guidance, published today (27 May 2010) NICE recommends gefitinib (Iressa) as an option for the first-line treatment of people with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer if they test positive for the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK) mutation.

In its previous draft guidance NICE asked AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of gefitinib to provide more data on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of its product as a treatment for these types of lung cancer. AstraZeneca provided this data along with a revised patient access scheme.

Dr Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said: “Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases. NICE has already recommended a number of treatments for this condition and we are pleased to add gefitinib as an option for patients and their clinicians to consider.

"Gefitinib offers an advantage because it is taken in tablet form, can be taken at home, and would allow patients to carry on with normal daily activities. This draft is now with consultees who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed recommendations before final guidance is published later this year."

NICE's recommendations are available from 27 May 2010 until 11 June 2010 at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA/Wave10/21.

The manufacturer proposed a patient access scheme where the drug is provided at no cost for patients who are treated for up to two months and, for all other patients', gefitinib would be available at a single fixed cost irrespective of the duration of treatment.

A pdf version of this press release is available.

This page was last updated: 27 May 2010

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.