NICE has recommended regular National Health Service funding for two more drugs from the old Cancer Drugs Fund – Pfizer’s Bosulif and Eli Lilly’s Alimta.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s final guidance decision enables Alimta maintenance treatment to be available to a wider group of lung cancer patients.


Bosulif is recommended for adults diagnosed with accelerated and blast phase Philadelphia positive chronic myeloid leukaemia in adults, who have had at least one tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and when three commonly used drugs of this type are not appropriate.


Both companies have provided commercially confidential discounts, which tipped NICE’s cost-effectiveness calculation in their favour. Bosulif costs around £45,000 per year at its undiscounted price, and Almita costs around £11,500 without its discount.


The decision applies to England, and Wales usually makes recommendations in line with NICE’s.


NICE is currently assessing the cost and clinical effectiveness of a backlog of drugs paid for by the old Cancer Drugs Fund.


The £340 million CDF, which covers drugs rejected by NICE, was hugely over spent. It has been relaunched to allow further information to be gathered on cancer medicines when NICE requires more data for its calculations.


In separate decisions, NICE recommended Servier’s Lonsurf for metastatic colorectal cancer, and Bayer’s Eylea for macular odoema after branch retinal vein occlusion.


Following publication of final guidance, Lonsurf is now recommended in adults where available therapies have failed or are unsuitable.


The French company noted NICE made its decision four months after the European Commission granted a marketing authorisation.


Servier said the decision marks a “milestone” in its evolution, as it is its first oncology product to be marketed in the UK.


In draft guidance, NICE had only recommended Eylea in the BRVO indication after failure of laser treatment or if this was not suitable because of the extent of the haemorrhage.


NICE also confirmed a decision to include Gedeon Richter’s Esmya as a treatment for uterine fibroids in updated national guidance on heavy menstrual bleeding.

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