The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not approved bone cancer drug mifamurtide due to low efficacy and high cost.
NICE believes the drug, intended to treat non-metastatic and surgically treatable osteosarcomas, does not significantly increase the overall survival of patients above currently available treatments.
This, combined with the high cost the NHS would have to pay, resulted in the rejection of the drug.
According to Takeda, mifamurtide will cost £114,000 per patient for a full treatment course of 48 doses.
The manufacturer proposed to make the drug free of charge for a patient’s first seven doses, but the independent advisory committee still considers this insufficient to overcome concerns about the value to patients.
Osteosarcoma is the most common form of bone cancer. Around 150 new cases diagnosed each year in the UK, mostly in children and young adults.