Care to handicap Avastin's chance of a new recommendation from U.K. cost-effectiveness gatekeepers? The Roche ($RHHBY) drug is up for review as an ovarian cancer treatment by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Given the dearth of treatments for the disease, Avastin could be a welcome addition to the oncologist's arsenal.
But Avastin is pricey--an estimated £30,800 ($48,300) per year at the 15 mg/kg dose approved by the European Medicines Agency, the Financial Times points out. Experts figure that the new indication is more likely to win a thumbs-up from NICE at a 7.5 mg/kg dose. The cost would be cut in half--£15,400 ($24,144) a year, FT says--making it easier for Avastin to come out ahead in the cost-effectiveness balance.
NICE wouldn't issue guidance specifying a particular dose, but it would consider evidence such as different dosing schedules used in clinical practice, an agency spokeswoman told the newspaper. Roche says it will submit the approved 15 mg dose to the agency, but it will include data from recent research that showed efficacy at the lower dose. Also, ovarian cancer patients currently applying for special Avastin funding are asking for that 7.5 mg dose, the spokeswoman said.
We won't know for sure what NICE decides till April of next year. But early indications will come later this fall for Avastin as an add-on in ovarian cancer, and in January for Avastin as a monotherapy for the disease.
- read the FT story
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