NICE recommends erlotinib as a possible first-line treatment (that is, if you have not had drug treatment before) for some people with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (see below).

Who can have erlotinib?

You should be able to have erlotinib if you have a type of locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer that has tested positive for mutations (changes) to EGFR-TK (which stands for epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase) in the cancer cells.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended erlotinib because it works as well other treatments available on the NHS, and costs about the same.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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