Kidney cancer drug Sutent 'now available on NHS'
26 August 2009 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
The drug Sutent (sunitinib), which is used to treat kidney cancer, has been made available to patients on the NHS, it has been revealed.
However, as Sudent received approval, three other treatments - Avastin, (bevacizumab), Nexavar (sorafenib) and Torisel (temsirolimus) - were turned down by regulating body the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
These were deemed to be too expensive to issue on the NHS and, NICE argued, only extend the life of patients for a few months at best.
John Melville, the general manager of Roche UK, manufacturer of Avastin, stated: "Avastin demonstrates the same value to the NHS as sunitinib and this guidance goes against the spirit of end of life criteria which were devised for this very setting."
In related news, research carried out by the Sunday Telegraph earlier this month showed significant discrepancies in the amount of money being spent by the NHS on cancer patients in various parts of the UK.
It showed that the average sum spent per patient is £15,000 in London and £5,000 in Leicestershire.
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