NICE Say No to Eisai’s Breast Cancer Drug ‘Halaven’

NICE Say No to Eisai’s Breast Cancer Drug ‘Halaven’Safety and cost have led NICE to not allow the use of Eisai's novel breast cancer drug Halaven (eribulin).

NICE made it clear in its report in which it affirmed that they are not allowing those breast cancer patients, who have been suffering from metastatic breast cancer and their disease has progressed even after two chemotherapeutic regimens.

Explaining the reason for not allowing the drug, NICE Chief Executive, Sir Andrew Dillon was of the view its negative effects surpass its positive effects. They are not denying the fact that there are some positive effects but its side effects are quite strong, which are not found in other traditional breast cancer treatment drugs.

It is not their sole decision and has discussed the situation with other health experts, who daily deal with such breast cancer cases.

These experts were of the view that there are many other drugs, which are used during breast cancer treatment and some of them are vinorelbine, Xeloda and Gemzar. So, even if they do not reject its usage, it would not have been used by the cancer experts due to its side effects.

Dillion said, "The experts also stressed that even if [Halaven] were approved by NICE, it would be unlikely to replace [Xeloda] and vinorelbine . because of its related side effects".

After knowing the details of the report, Eisai, the drug maker told NICE that they are ready to compromise on cost and said they could also initiate a patient access scheme.

This scheme would be given by the Department of Health and patients would get the drug in reduced amount, but it was not sufficient enough to convince the watchdog. NICE said the reduced amount is not that low, which could tempt them to initiate the service in the NHS.