Roche’s Erivedge could be removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund within months after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ruled that the drug was not a cost-effective treatment for skin cancer.

Erivedge (vismodegib) was made available to patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) unable to receive surgery or radiotherapy via the old CDF in 2013.

Following a reappraisal, NICE’s committee has now concluded however that the clinical benefit of the drug was unclear.

This uncertainty, combined with a high cost of the drug, means that it is not cost effective for routine use on the NHS, and it also failed to meet the criteria for inclusion on the new CDF, the regulator said.

Final guidance is expected in November, after which point the drug would be removed from the CDF within two months. However, patients who already receive Erivedge will continue to do so.

Advanced BCC is thought to occur in up to 10 percent of all BCCs, with locally advanced BCC that is inappropriate for surgery or radiotherapy occurring in up to 1 percent of cases.

Erivedge was launched in the UK back in 2013; Roche estimate that around 150 patients are currently being treated per year with the drug via the CDF.