- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has deemed AZ's ovarian cancer drug too expensive, because it is not clear that the drug extends life.
- Lynparza (olapraib) is approved for treatment of refractory ovarian cancer in patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
- Based on preliminary pharmacoeconomic analyses, the quality-adjusted life-year figure associated with use of Lynparza would be $75,248 per QALY. NICE was not satisfied with this figure.
While NICE is in the position of rejecting drugs that are considered too expensive for the system to pay for in a sustainable way, advocates are pushing for reimbursement of Lynparza. According to the chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Reserach in London, there are 450 women who could benefit directly from treatment with Lynparza, but won't be able to if the drug is not reimbursed. In addition, Peter Johnson, the chief clinician of Cancer Research UK, calls this decision another example of ignoring innovative drugs. This rejection is part of a larger discussion in the UK in which many physicians, consumers and activists are calling for wholesale reform of NICE and the UK's National Health Services (NHS) in general.