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NICE publishes guidance on discounted Tarceva

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

The UK's National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence(NICE) has published guidance that recommendsRoche's Tarceva (erlotinib) as an alternative toSanofi-Aventis's Taxotere (docetaxel) in treating non-small cell lung cancer patients who have failed on one chemotherapy regimen. The recommendation hinges on Roche's agreement with the department of health that the overall cost of treatment with Tarceva would be the same as using Taxotere, including the costs of administration, treating side-effects and monitoring. NICE does not recommend Tarceva as a second-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC in patients who are intolerant of Taxotere, for whom Taxotere is contraindicated, or for third-line treatment after Taxotere. The published guidance confirms the draft recommendations that NICE issued in July (Scrip Online, July 7th, 2008). Local healthcare authorities in England and Wales are expected to implement the guidance within three months.

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