The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that more data is required for it to place ‘ibrutinib’ on the cancer drugs fund.
This is the first time ever that NICE has requested a pharmaceutical company to give further evidence for an anti-cancer drug to be included in the cancer drugs fund.
NICE is the English body for assessing the latest health technology in order to guide the NHS on which drugs to use and it has now contacted Janssen (pharmaceutical company) to compile a convincing case for ibrutinib to be added to the CDF.
The drug is aimed at treating patients who suffer from chronic lymphonic leukaemia with genetic changes such as TP53 or 17p deletion.
This unprecedented decision by NICE has come only eight weeks after the institute was put in charge of the CDF, following government reforms that aim to make the fund more sustainable.
The independent advisory committee at NICE says that ibrutinib may be of benefit to this particular selection of patients who are yet to undergo any treatment.
‘NICE’s centre for health technology evaluation’ director, Carole Longson, says that the institute has asked Janssen to put forward their proposal of including ibrutinib in the CDF in order to honour its commitment of giving patients more immediate access to the latest new cancer drugs.
She added that if Janssen submits a proposal that both NICE and NHS England accept, then conditional funds will be given for inbrutinib to be included in the CDF while gathering further evidence to monitor the effectiveness of the drug.
This, Ms Longson says, will enable NICE to be more thorough in their monitoring and evaluation of the key benefits of ibrutinib, while ensuring patients still have access to it.
Janssen is very disappointed with the action taken by NICE and claims that the UK is once again lagging behind other countries in Europe in terms of new drugs.