NICE fails to endorse treatment with radium-223 for mCRPC


In a less than entirely surprising move, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has rejected Bayer’s initial application for coverage of radium-223 (Xofigo) under the National Health Service.

According to a report on the Reuters web site on Sunday evening, one of the reasons being given for this initial rejection is that “the German firm did not provide evidence on how well it worked compared to other therapies.” However, it appears quite clear to The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink that the cost of a course of treatment with radium-223 is also a critical factor (at £24,240 = $40,000, prior to any undisclosed discounts offered by Bayer).

We suspect that this is simply the first round in a potential series of negotiations between Bayer and NICE. Hopefully, from the patients’ perspective, everyone will find a way to come to an acceptable compromise in the reasonably near future so that radium-223 can be made available to those men with late stage forms of prostate cancer in the UK who can really benefit from this treatment.

As yet there is no formal statement available on the NICE web site. The Daily Mail has, as usual, turned this into a purely emotional issue, largely ignoring the fact that NICE has a responsibility to make sure the National Health Service doesn’t go broke by paying unsustainable costs for new forms of diagnosis and therapy for every disorder under the sun.

One Response

  1. Dear Sitemaster,
    Don’t worry about the NHS going broke. Here are two reasons. First, one from the horses’ mouth. Second, the agreement described here, which connects with this well-known (well, if you don’t read the Daily Fail) article I helped write by supplying some references.

    I was born in America, moved to the Netherlands in 1972 for my job and in search of rational healthcare, have used the NHS and was impressed, had to leave Amsterdam for Uppsala because of the privatisation of Dutch healthcare on January 1, 2006, and am now confronted by this, along with everyone else in the EU. If this goes through, then the European Medicine Agency can be sidelined and negotiations for drugs might become impossible. END RANT.

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