UK – Bayer’s Stivarga wins NICE backing for advanced liver cancer

Bayer’s Stivarga has been recommended for use on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) following a rapid review of guidance published earlier in the year which rejected the drug.

Stivarga (regorafenib) is to be offered to advanced liver cancer patients in England and Wales whose liver is well-functioning but unable to be surgically removed and who have already taken the life extending medicine sorafenib.

The guidelines also stipulate that patients must also have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1 to qualify for treatment, which means they are fully active and able to carry on all pre-disease performance without restriction or they are restricted in physically strenuous activity but able to carry out work of a light or sedentary nature.

According to NICE, a few hundred patients each year will benefit from the decision, which marks a turnaround from the Institute’s previous recommendation to reject the drug in this setting for being too costly.

However, “after including analyses with a new commercial arrangement which makes regorafenib available to the NHS with a confidential discount, NICE now considers the drug to have met its criteria as a being a cost effective and life-extending end of life treatment,” it said…