This morning, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reversed its original, preliminary decisions over two cutting-edge ‘targeted’ melanoma treatments – ipilimumab and vemurafenib.
Both drugs will now be available on the NHS to suitable patients throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This is great news. It turns out that the manufacturers of both drugs have now provided sufficient information, and set up suitable discount schemes, to allow the drugs to be considered value for money on the NHS – essential in these straitened times. We hope they’ll resubmit this information to the Scottish regulators as soon as possible.
But how does this fit into the bigger picture of targeted therapies and personalised medicine?
We thought that in the light of this news, and of some recent critical pieces in the mainstream media, we’d take a look at the state-of-play regarding what many consider to be a new ‘era’ of cancer treatment.