‘Breakthrough’ breast cancer drugs get NICE recommendation

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended two major drugs, Palbociclib and Ribociclib, for routine funding after the drug companies lowered the prices and provided more evidence for their effectiveness.

The research showed that the drugs slow down advanced cancer for an average of 10 months delaying the possible need for chemotherapy (NICE, 2017). The drugs work by slowing the cancer down by inhibiting two proteins typically called CDK 4 and 6.


Professor Carole Longson director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: “The committee heard that by postponing disease progression, Palbociclib and Ribociclib may reduce the number of people who are exposed to the often unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy, and delay the need for its use in others “ (NICE, 2017).

There are around 45,000 new diagnosis of breast cancer each year in England and it is estimated that around 8,000 of these people would be eligible for treatment with either Palbociclib or Ribociclib (NICE, 2017). Palbociclib (Ibrance) from Pfizer and Ribociclib (Kisqali) from Norvatis, are recommended for people with hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2 negative locally advanced or secondary breast cancer.


Text References

BBC News. (2017). ‘Breakthrough’ breast cancer drugs get NHS approval. Available: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42006609. Last accessed 17th Nov 2017.

NICE. (2017). Breast cancer patients to have routine access to two life extending drugs after new deal, say NICE in draft guidance. Available: https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/breast-cancer-patients-to-have-routine-access-to-two-life-extending-drugs-after-new-deal-say-nice-in-draft-guidance. Last accessed 17th Nov 2017.