Roche breast cancer drug Perjeta rejected by UK cost agency

LONDON Roche’s breast cancer drug Perjeta, or pertuzumab, has been turned down for use on Britain’s state health service, making it the latest in a number of pricey new cancer treatments deemed not to offer value for money.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said in draft guidance on Friday that it could not recommend the drug as a good use of NHS resources because of uncertainties about its long-term benefits.

Perjeta is designed for use in combination with chemotherapy and Roche’s older drug Herceptin, or trastuzumab, before breast cancer surgery to shrink the cancer so that it becomes operable.

“In order to be able to recommend pertuzumab as an addition to trastuzumab and chemotherapy, the committee needed to have more evidence of its long-term clinical benefits, particularly its impact on overall survival,” said Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Keith Weir)

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