Contact our breast care nurses 0808 800 6000
Prescription envelopes at St Bart's hospital.

New drugs approved in 2023 and what’s coming up in 2024

Making sure that new and effective breast cancer drugs quickly reach patients on the NHS is a key priority for us. It's important that they’re priced fairly for the NHS. We're involved in the process for every breast cancer drug that’s assessed for use on the NHS, so that the voices of people affected by breast cancer are heard loud and clear.

In England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the organisation that decides which new medicines will be available on the NHS. Wales and Northern Ireland normally follow NICE guidance. In Scotland, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) decides which new medicines will be available on the NHS in Scotland. 

We’ve successfully campaigned to reverse provisional negative decisions on individual drugs by calling on all parties to work together. We know that the impact of treatments on patients is significant, and we make sure that this information reaches decision-makers. This blog post looks at what drugs were approved for 2023, and what drugs may be coming up this year.    

Drugs approved in 2023

Olaparib (Lynparza)

In April, after an initial provisional rejection, NICE approved olaparib for use on the NHS in England. This was for certain people who have primary breast cancer and an inherited altered BRCA gene. Following on from the provisional rejection, we launched a campaign to ask AstraZeneca, NHS England and NICE to worked together to find a solution for the treatment to be made available. We’re so grateful to the 70,000 people who supported our campaign and helped us reverse the decision.

Olaparib was approved for use on the NHS in Scotland in October.  

Trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu) for patients with HER2-positive secondary breast cancer

In April, the SMC approved trastuzumab deruxtecan for use on the NHS in Scotland for treating HER2-positive secondary breast cancer, after 1 or more treatments specifically for HER2-positive breast cancer. This drug had already been approved by NICE in December 2022.

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

The SMC approved pembrolizumab for use on the NHS in Scotland in June. Pembrolizumab is available to certain people with primary triple negative breast cancer who have a higher risk of their breast cancer returning. It’s given alongside chemotherapy before surgery and then used alone after surgery.

Pembrolizumab was approved by NICE for the same group of patients in 2022.

Trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu)

In December, the SMC approved trastuzumab deruxtecan for NHS use in Scotland for certain people with HER2-low secondary breast cancer. It’s the first time that a drug has been available specifically for people with HER2-low secondary breast cancer. The drug is already available across the UK for use by some people with HER2-positive secondary breast cancer.

Devastatingly, NICE provisionally rejected trastuzumab deruxtecandfor use on the NHS in England in September. The NICE appraisal process has been paused. This is because NHS England and the drug company, Daiichi Sankyo, have entered negotiations to try to find a deal that makes this treatment available. Right now, women are facing an agonising wait to find out if they’ll get access to the treatment in time.

We’re calling on NHS England and the drug company Daiichi Sankyo, to urgently agree a deal that makes this treatment available on the NHS in England.

Drug appraisals expected in 2024

Drug appraisal timings may move but some drugs we’re expecting to see appraised in 2024 are:

Talazoparib (Talzenna)

NICE approved the drug talazoparib for use on the NHS in England in January. Talazoparib is a drug for certain people with locally advanced or secondary breast cancer who’ve inherited an altered BRCA gene. The SMC is currently assessing talazoparib for use on the NHS in Scotland. We’re expecting a decision to be made in March.

Ribociclib (Kisqali)

In summer, NICE will be starting to assess ribociclib as a treatment after surgery for certain patients with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative primary breast cancer. We’re awaiting timelines from the SMC.

If you have experience of ribociclib for treating primary breast cancer, please email us to share your story to inform our input into the NICE process.

Elacestrant (Orserdu)

NICE is currently assessing elacestrant for treating certain people with hormone receptor positive, secondary breast cancer after a prior hormone treatment.

If you have experience of elacestrant please email us to share your story with us and inform our input into the NICE process.

 

Possible drugs on the horizon

Based on research presented at medical conferences in 2023, there may be other breast cancer drugs that are licensed or assessed for use on the NHS in 2024. This includes datopotamab deruxtecan which could treat certain patients with hormone receptor positive HER2-low or negative breast cancer.

We’re also keeping an eye on the new targeted breast cancer drug, capivasertib, which could treat certain patients with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative secondary breast cancer. We’ll keep people updated with progress on drug appraisals.  

Sign up for campaign updates

You can find out more about our previous achievements and get involved in our current campaigns by signing up for campaign updates.

Sign up

Share this page