NHS use of Eli Lilly's Alimta to treat patients with lung cancer has been endorsed in final draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Alimta (pemetrexed) has been recommended as an option for the maintenance treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer in adults when their disease has not progressed immediately after four cycles of pemetrexed.

Alimta is the second drug to go through the Cancer Drugs Fund reappraisal process, in which Lilly has agreed to provide the treatment at a discounted price to the NHS to secure its cost effectiveness.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases.

The two main goals of maintenance treatment are to prolong the period of remission after first-line chemotherapy and increase the likelihood of being able to receive second-line chemotherapy.

Final guidance from NICE is expected in August.