NICE set to recommend another leukaemia drug


NICE has issued further draft guidance for consultation that recommends obinutuzumab, marketed by Roche as Gazyvaro, for some people with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in England, with around 2,700 people being diagnosed with the condition each year.

In earlier preliminary guidance, NICE had been unable to recommend obinutuzumab due to uncertainties in the company’s submission. In response to the consultation Roche submitted revised cost-effectiveness analyses and a patient access scheme which allowed the committee to recommend obinutuzumab combination therapy for some people with CLL.

Commenting on the draft guidance, Professor Carole Longson, centre for health technology evaluation director at NICE, said: “We are pleased that Roche responded to our consultation and provided further analyses to allow us to propose recommending obinutuzumab as a treatment option for untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

“Half of the people who need treatment for their condition are not able to use the standard first-line treatment of fludarabine combination therapy. NICE recommends alternative treatment with bendamustine but there are some patients for whom this is also unsuitable. Obinutuzumab is a clinically effective treatment which is associated with fewer adverse events and provides another option to help prevent people’s disease from progressing.”

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder