Campaign update: Kadcyla approved for use on the NHS in England

We are delighted to let you know that Kadcyla has been approved for use on the NHS. That means that everyone in England who needs it from now on will be able to be prescribed it and everyone who is currently taking the drug will continue to be able to access it.

The change comes because the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Kadcyla’s manufacturer, Roche, have reached a deal on how much the NHS will pay for this revolutionary drug.

Although NICE’s rulings only apply in England, the NHS in Wales and Northern Ireland usually follow NICE decisions so we will be asking for this guarantee to be given there as well.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this campaign – every tweet, signature and letter sent has contributed to this decision.

What's the background to this campaign?

This effective treatment, with few side effects, is at risk of being denied to new patients unless a solution is reached urgently. If NICE and Roche refuse to act, this vital treatment option will be taken away from thousands of women who are relying on it.

This time last year, we were concerned that the secondary breast cancer drug Kadcyla would be removed from the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). We called on Roche, Kadcyla’s manufacturer, to lower the price of the drug and ensure its continued availability for all patients in England via the CDF. As a result of our campaign, Roche lowered the price and Kadcyla remained available.

Due to changes in the CDF, however, Kadcyla has recently been subject to another appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which assesses the clinical and cost-effectiveness of drugs. Devastatingly, it has been provisionally rejected, which means that it could be withdrawn from new patients as early as June 2017- depending on a final decision that will be made early in 2017.

We believe that while Roche has offered a substantial discount they must now lower their price further. But critical to this outcome is NICE’s decision to use a comparator drug to calculate the cost-effectiveness of Kadcyla that is not even available to patients. We feel that this must be reconsidered and that had an appropriate comparator drug been selected, the discounted price may have seen Kadcyla fall within the cost-effectiveness threshold.

It’s time NICE and Roche put patients’ lives first and come up with a deal to ensure Kadcyla remains available to those whose lives are dependent on it. Women with secondary breast cancer have no time to lose.

Our petition

On 29 December 2016 we launched a petition calling on Roche and NICE to come together to re-assess this decision and find a solution to keep Kadcyla available.

On 23 January the petition closed, with over 115,000 signatures – a clear demonstration of the strength of public feeling about Kadcyla.

115,898 signatures! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, your support is everything to us ladies with secondary breast cancer."

Bonnie Fox