NICE rejects Dendreon’s Provenge … again


According to a report on the PharmaFile web site, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England has rejected Dendreon’s application for coverage of the costs of treatment with sipuleucel-T (Provenge) for the second time in less than a year. It is clear that NICE is simply not willing to pay a cost per course of therapy of the order of £50,000 per patient (about US$84,000 at the current exchange rate).

It was only last October that NICE had issued preliminary draft guidance stating that it could not recommend the treatment for patients under the National Health Service. The PharmaFile report mentioned above provides additional information about NICE’s reasons for not covering the costs associated with treatment with siuleucel-T for men with asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic, metastatic, castration-presistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). NICE’s own media statement about this decision is also available on line.

3 Responses

  1. It gets worse, Sitemaster. NHS England has rejected 20 to 25 cancer meds, two or three days ago. See this and note the dates.

  2. George:

    This had been announced as a high probability several months ago. The NHS has a fixed budget each year that they have kept exceeding. You can’t run a household that way, or a business, or a nation. Things that have very limited supplementary benefit inevitably “have to go”.

  3. I know. I had to analyse the NHS England Commissioning Intentions document, of October 3, 2014. It is such a strange text that some considered it to be a diversion from other matters. Or a test of public opinion, to see what cuts NHS England could get away with without much opposition.

    Perhaps there was little opposition. If so, that just might explain the Blitz of dropping more than 20 cancer medications in one day, from provisions within the Cancer Drug Fund. I do not claim to know this. However, these drugs were dropped, and some people I know well now have such limited supplementary benefit to their corporate and entitled masters, that they inevitably “have to go.”

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