NHS England has signed an agreement with Roche, which also received backing from NICE, to make the breast cancer drug Kadcyla available for routine use on the NHS.

Kadcyla is also known as trastuzumab emtansine and would have cost around £90,000 per patient at its full list price.

This drug 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.

NHS England and Roche have agreed to a confidential arrangement for the drug's reimbursement.

The treatment enables patients to have an average of an extra six months of life, with improved quality of life and less side-effects, thereby allowing them to live much more active lives than other treatments.

NHS chief Simon Stevens said: “NHS cancer survival rates are now at record highs, and this year we’re going to be making major upgrades to modern radiotherapy treatments in every part of England.

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"NHS cancer survival rates are now at record highs, and this year we’re going to be making major upgrades to modern radiotherapy treatments in every part of England."

“NHS England is also taking practical action to drive greater value from taxpayers growing investment in modern drug treatments, and that work is beginning to bear fruit.

“This announcement on Kadcyla shows that for companies who are willing to work with us, there are concrete gains for them, for the NHS and most importantly for patients able to get new and innovative drugs. In this case, tough negotiation and flexibility between the NHS and Roche means both patients and taxpayers are getting a good deal.”

Roche general manager Richard Erwin said: “Close collaboration between Roche, NHS England and NICE has resulted in NICE recommending Kadcyla as a cost-effective treatment. This is a positive example of how solutions can be reached when all parties show flexibility.”

The drug was rejected by NICE in 2015 due to being too expensive for routine funding.

As of 2013, Kadcyla has been available through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

Since NHS England’s redesigned CDF opened for business, NHS England and NICE have been reviewing all treatments supported through the CDF, including Kadcyla, to consider whether they should be funded routinely on the NHS.

The latest announcement indicates it will be permanently funded and give doctors an additional treatment option.