(Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy -- the first drug to help patients with advanced melanoma live longer -- is not cost effective for use in the taxpayer-funded National Health Service (NHS), the health costs watchdog said on Friday.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said Yervoy, or ipilimumab -- which costs an average of around 20,000 pounds per dose and is given in four-dose courses -- could not be recommended because its longer-term benefits were not clear enough.
"We need to be sure that new treatments provide sufficient benefits to patients to justify the significant cost the NHS is being asked to pay," NICE's chief executive Andrew Dillon said in a statement.
He said BMS may want to "consider whether it wishes to reduce the acquisition cost to the NHS of the drug," since Yervoy costs around 80,000 pounds per patient whether the treatment is effective for them or not.
Friday, October 14, 2011
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