NHS England and Roche have agreed a confidential commercial agreement on the price of Perjeta for certain patients with breast cancer.
The move now allows NICE to carry out the final stage of its appraisal for the drug “and opens the way for continued access to this important treatment for breast cancer,” NHS England said.
Perjeta (pertuzumab), which is licensed to treat HER2-positive breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body, cannot be surgically removed and has stopped responding to other treatments, will remain available via the Cancer Drugs Fund while NICE independent appraisal committee reviews the new arrangement before issuing guidance.
The drug has been available via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) since 2013, benefiting around 1,300 patients per year.
“This is exceptionally good news for patients and their doctors, and we very much hope that NICE will now be able to approve Perjeta as soon as possible,” said Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now. “The impact that this treatment has had, and will hopefully now continue to have on the NHS, for thousands of women living with incurable metastatic breast cancer and their loved ones cannot be underestimated.
“Perjeta is an indispensable and life-changing drug, offering women with incurable breast cancer nearly 16 extra months to live compared to other treatments. We’re thrilled that, once more, tough negotiation and flexibility by NHS England and NICE, and the willingness of Roche to put patients first and compromise on price, is set to ensure that thousands of women can be given precious extra time to live.
“This step shows quite clearly that robust deal-making is possible and can achieve real value for money for the NHS and the taxpayer. With uncertainty continuing to surround the consideration of combination treatments for NHS use, we hope that Perjeta will prove a precedent rather than an exception.”
Speaking at the FT Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Conference in London yesterday, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said: “For companies who are willing to work with us, there are real gains for them, for the NHS and most importantly for patients able to get new and innovative drugs.”