Chris West
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NICE approves CML drug

Chris West
Posted by
07 Jul 2016

First CDF medicine to go through new process is approved

Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the CML drug bosutinib.  This is obviously great news for patients, and we are delighted to hear this news.

This announcement has added significance.  As part of the new system for appraising drugs (introduced just this month), the old Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) is no more.  This means that all the treatments that used to be funded for NHS patients via the CDF are now being assessed by NICE to see if they are sufficiently cost-effective to continue to be provided.

Many of the old CDF drugs were only on the CDF in the first place as they had previously been rejected by NICE, mostly for being too expensive.  So with all these CDF drugs now going back to NICE, there was an obvious concern that they would be rejected again – and under the new system, rejection by NICE would be a final “no”, and therefore very bad news for patients.

The approval of bosutinib shows that there is room for an effective negotiation between NICE and industry, to agree a price that means patients get the drugs they need at a price the NHS can afford.  There are several more ex-CDF drugs for blood cancer to go through this process, and we hope similarly positive negotiations between NICE and industry will see more life-saving drugs reaching patients.