Britain's state-run National Health Service (NHS) has rejected new drug from Swiss group Roche, for women with an incurable form of breast cancer, after the healthcare's cost watchdog deemed it too expensive.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which decides which drugs and treatments are available on the NHS in England and Wales by using 'cost effectiveness' methods, said it was "disappointed" with how much Kadcyla would cost, even though Roche had already applied a discount.
"Although Roche proposed a discount to the full list price of Kadcyla, it made little difference to its value for money, leaving it well above the top of our specially extended range of cost effectiveness for cancer drugs," Nice Chief Executive Andrew Dillon said in a statement.
In November 2013, Roche's Kadcyla was granted approval in Europe. It is used to treat women with the form of HER2 positive breast cancer, which are unable to have surgery, when the disease has spread to other parts of the body and stopped responding to initial treatment.
Kadcyla is designed to carry a cell-killing payload into cancer cells.
The cost of the one patient using a full course of treatment is estimated to cost £90,831 (€114,058, $152,800).
"Refusing patients access to this drug is an incredible injustice and tantamount to turning the clock back in cancer research and development," Jayson Dallas, general manager of Roche Products Limited said in a statement, after adding that the group would appeal the decision.