A drug which can extend life for secondary breast cancer patients by an average of two and a half months has been rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for use on the NHS in Scotland.
Monday 10 August 2015      Scotland
Scottish women with incurable breast cancer hit by another rejection of a life-extending drug

Eribulin (also called Halaven) has been rejected as the SMC did not consider the benefits provided by the drug justified the cost.

This is the third secondary breast cancer drug to be declined by the SMC after Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) and Perjeta (pertuzumab) were also rejected last year.

Eribulin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer. It works by stopping (inhibiting) the cancer cells from separating into two new cells, therefore blocking the growth of the cancer.

Eluned Hughes, Acting Director Scotland, Breast Cancer Now said: “We are disappointed that the SMC has declined yet another drug that could provide patient benefit and choice to women in Scotland living with secondary breast cancer.

“Today’s news is just one symptom of a much bigger issue; this is not only the third breast cancer drug that has been rejected since the SMC system was revised, but it is also the most inexpensive. As such, we are concerned about what this pattern means for secondary breast cancer overall; the pharmaceutical industry, and Governments across the UK must to work together to improve access to these life-extending drugs for patients.”