Palbociclib was approved last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for use as a first-line treatment (that is, for those who have not had previous treatment for secondary breast cancer) for oestrogen receptor positive (ER+), HER2 negative (HER2-) secondary breast cancer. It is now available across the UK.Medicine

Following its approval, many people have asked us when palbociclib may become available for those whose breast cancer has progressed after previously receiving hormone therapy for secondary breast cancer.

What we know

We raised the question of further availability with Pfizer, who manufactures palbociclib.

Pfizer have recently met with NICE and NHS England to discuss how an approval of palbociclib for this use could be achieved. 

This meeting did not result in any significant progress and there is currently no estimated date for when a decision will be made by NICE. However, discussions are continuing so this situation may change.

In Scotland, Pfizer has estimated that a decision from the SMC could come at the end of this year about its use as a second and later-line treatment.

What next? 

We know it can be difficult waiting to hear whether a treatment will become available, and when. We’ll continue to monitor this situation to ensure that you are kept up to date on any developments.

As well as raising the issue with Pfizer, we are also seeking a meeting with NICE, to discuss the situation from their perspective.

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We’re here

If you have a question about treatments for secondary breast cancer, you can call our free, confidential Helpline on 0808 800 6000. You can also email our nurses or ask them any breast cancer or breast health questions you may have on our online Forum.

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