Kidney Cancer UK is calling on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to reverse a preliminary decision to bar patients with kidney cancer from NHS access to the first immunotherapy approved for the disease.

The cost regulator has published draft guidance rejecting Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) for patients with previously-treated advanced renal cell carcinoma, after finding “substantial uncertainty” about the extent of the survival benefit of the drug when measured over the long term.

It concluded that the incremental cost effectiveness ratio for the drug was likely to be at least £60,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained, and that, even when applying end of life considerations, Opdivo failed to fall within the range representative of a cost effective treatment in this setting.

Kidney Cancer UK called the decision “unacceptable”.

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By: Selina McKee | PharmaTimes