Pfizer’s Crizotinib not good value for NHS money

NICE, the healthcare guidance body, has issued final guidance not recommending crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer) for previously treated anaplastic-lymphoma-kinase-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Commenting on the draft guidance, Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, said: “Having already recommended a number of treatments for the various stages of non-small-cell lung cancer, we are disappointed not to be able to add crizotinib as a treatment option for patients. However, although the independent committee that considered the evidence found crizotinib to be clinically effective treatment for ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer, crizotinib could not be considered a cost-effective use of NHS resources, even when taking into consideration the manufacturer’s patient access scheme.”

Crizotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) – it works by blocking enzymes which can stimulate cancers to grow. Crizotinib blocks a specific enzyme called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) which is present in some non-small-cell lung cancers.

This guidance does not mean that people currently taking crizotinib will stop receiving it. They have the option to continue treatment until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.

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