The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published two sets of guidelines increasing the treatment options for NHS patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Pfizer's Bosulif (bosutinib) is now backed for use within its marketing authorisation, to treat chronic, accelerated and blast phase Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in adults when other protein inhibitor drugs (imatinib, nilotinib and dasatinib) stop working or cause severe side effects.

The drug, the first available through the Cancer Drugs Fund to be re-appraised by NICE, is a protein inhibitor that targets the abnormal gene that causes white blood cells to grow and reproduce out of control. Around 80 new patients in England and Wales would be eligible for treatment with the drug every year.

The current list price for Bosulif is around £45,000 per patient a year, but Pfizer has agreed a patient access scheme (PAS) with the Department of Health under which it offers the drug at a confidential discount.

Alimta for NSCLC
The Institute also endorsed Eli Lilly's Alimta (pemetrexed) for maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC, if their disease has not progressed immediately after four cycles of pemetrexed/cisplatin induction therapy.

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.

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