The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today rejected the breast cancer drug pertuzumab (Perjeta, Roche Products) for routine use by NHS Scotland for women with primary (early) breast cancer.

Monday 12 December 2016      Scotland
Breast cancer drugs

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has rejected the breast cancer drug pertuzumab

The drug was rejected by the SMC on the grounds that it felt that the drug company did not present a robust economic analysis and the drugs body did not consider it cost effective. English drugs body NICE approved the drug for use on the NHS south of border in November this year.

Pertuzumab is recommended in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy as an option before breast cancer surgery to help shrink the cancer for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that is locally advanced, inflammatory or early-stage and at high risk of coming back.

Mary Allison, Breast Cancer Now’s Director for Scotland said:

“Women with breast cancer in Scotland will be disappointed and confused by this decision.

“Only last month this same drug was approved for NHS use in England. Women will therefore find it difficult to understand why it has been rejected in Scotland today.

“Decisions on the availability of medicines have a profound effect on the people who could benefit. That’s why we’re calling for the review on access to medicines in Scotland to recommend some big changes.

“For example, there needs to be a strong negotiation process with drug companies to get the best deal for the NHS as early as possible.

“That way we can make sure that we have the best chance of making innovative drugs available for doctors to treat people with breast cancer.”