GSK's cancer pill Tyverb falls short at NICE

GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE: GSK) bargaining on Tyverb has failed. The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdog nixed the breast-cancer pill once again--despite the company's offer to pay for the first three months of treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said the drug wasn't a good value when compared with treatment alternatives. "[E]vidence suggest that it extends life by a small amount of time--around 10 weeks or 2.4 months--and costs thousands of pounds more than one of the more commonly used NHS treatments for this indication," NICE chief Andrew Dillon said in a statement (as quoted by Dow Jones). 

NICE has been fairly skeptical of pricey cancer treatments, and, in spite of new "end-of-life" calculations for drugs for terminal illnesses, remains difficult--but not impossible--to convince. In recent weeks it has rejected one kidney cancer treatment--Bayer's Nexavar--while accepting AstraZeneca's lung cancer pill Iressa.

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