Lung cancer drug gets NICE recommendation


Roche’s Tarceva (erlotinib) has been recommended in final guidance as a first-line option for people with EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

NICE’s independent Appraisal Committee concluded the treatment was a clinical and cost effective use of NHS resources, when supplied under an agreed Patient Access Scheme.

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said the Institute was “pleased to be able to recommend another treatment option for this stage of the disease.”

As part of the appraisal, the Committee discussed the results from the updated analysis comparing Tarceva with Iressa. On balance, the Committee concluded, the sums of money either spent or saved are small given the uncertainties associated with the data.

Therefore, when supplied under the Patient Access Scheme, Tarceva is recommended as an option with patients who have locally advanced or metastatic EGFR-TK mutation-positive NSCLC.