New Draft Guidance Recommends Pfizer’s Inlyta

New Draft Guidance Recommends Pfizer's InlytaPatients across England and Wales with advanced kidney cancer may soon receive access to Pfizer’s Inlyta on the NHS after a U-turn from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) saw the regulatory body issue draft guidance recommending Inlyta.

The draft guidance, issued earlier today, recommends Pfizer’s Inlyta (axitinib) as an option for treating adults with advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with a first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitor (Pfizer’s own or GlaxoSmithKline’s Votrient) or a cytokine.

The positive recommendation follows a previous negative recommendation, which was appealed by Pfizer, the Royal College of Physicians, James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer, and Kidney Cancer UK.

Commenting on the updated draft guidance, Carole Longson, NICE’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, noted that following the appeal, the regulatory agency issued “an updated scope and matrix to include sunitinib and pazopanib as comparators in addition to best supportive care for the post-cytokine sub-group.”

Longson also noted that Pfizer has submitted additional information on how Inlyta works in post-cytokine sub-group patients and “after careful consideration of this evidence, including the proposed patient access scheme, the independent appraisal Committee concluded that axitinib should be recommended as a treatment option for adults with advanced kidney cancer in specific circumstances.”

Ben Osborn, head of Pfizer Oncology UK, commented that while the news is positive, “the UK still lags behind other European countries in the use of innovative cancer medicines. We hope that this marks a change in approach from NICE towards more pragmatic assessments of medicines, which will lead to NICE saying ‘yes’ more often so that patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can benefit from innovative cancer medicines.”

Until final guidance is issued for Inlyta, NHS bodies should continue to make decisions locally on the funding of the drug.


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