- Earlier this month, NICE rejected Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) for treatment of pancreatic cancer, saying that it was too expensive and not significantly more effective than standard therapy (FOLFIRONOX).
- The All Wales Medicine Strategy Group has recommended approval of Abraxane in combination with gemcitabane as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
- Advocates at Pancreatic Cancer UK are pleased with the decision; however, NICE UK could still reverse the decision.
Assuming that the decision in Wales is upheld, approximately 100 patients will be eligible for Abraxane. NICE's main argument against approving funding for Abraxane is pharmacoeconomic. Based on NICE estimates, the cost of one quality adjusted year of life gained for Abraxane combined with gemcitabane versus gemcitabane alone is $126,563 per year.
Though the decision is at risk of reversal, Pancreatic Cancer UK things turn out differently and that Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England will follow suit to make Abraxane available throughout the UK.