Avastin removed from NICE list

Avastin will no longer be made routinely available on the NHS for women with breast cancer after a watchdog ruled that it does not help improve patients’ quality of life or provide value for money.

New guidance for doctors issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) does not recommend Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat women with breast cancer.

The drug works by starving cancerous tumours of blood and was being looked at as a treatment in combination with capecitabine, a type of chemotherapy, for breast cancer that had metastasised to other parts of the body.

The advisory body said that making Avastin available on the NHS was not a good use of resources because of its high cost, and the lack of evidence to show patients would have a better quality of life than if they were treated with chemotherapy alone.

Sir Andrew Dillon, Nice’s chief executive, said: "We can’t recommend a drug that has not been shown to work as well as, or better than, current treatments and costs much more.

October - December Cancer Watch 2012
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