NICE reverses stance on skin cancer treatment after reviewing new survival data
Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy gets review panel's backing
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has reversed its position on Yervoy (ipilimumab), which has now become a first-line treatment for of metastatic skin cancer.
- BMS resubmitted its application for Yervoy to NICE after it was rejected in February.
- Given the fact that the price is higher than current standard of care, BMS has agreed to give National Health Services discounted pricing and to support a patient access scheme.
Treatment options for metastatic skin cancer are limited. Yervoy is a drug used to treat metastatic, non-resectable melanoma. Earlier this month, BMS released data from a phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled trial showing that patients treated with 10 mg/kg of Yervoy had a 25% reduced risk of recurrence or death, compared with placebo-treated patients. At three years, 46.5% of Yervoy-treated patients were recurrence-free, compared with 34.8% of placebo-treated patients. Overall, median recurrence-free survival was 26.1 months for Yervoy versus 17.1 months for placebo.
During the initial review in February, before this data was released, NICE consigned Yervoy to treatment of patients in clinical trials, as well as second-line treatment. Gastrointestinal, liver and dermatologic side effects were treated based on an algorithm. A 10-mL vial of Yervoy costs approximately $6,375. To offset the cost, BMS is implementing a patient-access scheme and giving discounts to NHS.