9th July 2019

NICE rejects targeted therapy as first line treatment

View all Treatment

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has ruled against recommending osimertinib for use as first line of treatment by NHS England for patients with advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

This is an uncommon type of lung cancer; only around 10% of patients diagnosed with NSCLC are EGFR-positive. Osimertinib (which has the trade-name Tagrisso®) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), a type of targeted therapy for this specific type of lung cancer.  

NICE said it did not recommend osimertinib because the cost effectiveness estimates were above what it normally considers to be “an acceptable use of NHS resources”.

Our Chief Executive, Paula Chadwick, called the decision ‘very disappointing’.  

She said, “We always want the best for lung cancer patients. We want them to be able to benefit from the best treatments that modern medicine can provide.  

“We recognise the value of each life; each patient deserves the best chance of spending as much time as possible with their family, friends and loved ones, and the best chance to live as well and as comfortably as possible.  

“That is why we campaign so vigorously for new treatments to be made available. We find it very disappointing that NICE did not rule in favour of approving osimertinib for this group of patients.

“We hope that, even at this stage, the manufacturer and NICE will continue their dialogue and that, the near future, this drug may yet be made available to people who would benefit.”  

If you are affected by this decision and want more information, you can call our Ask the Nurse service on 0800 358 7200, email lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org, or download information about treatment options at here.