UK – NICE rejects Lilly’s breast cancer drug Verzenios

As it stands Eli Lilly’s Verzenios will not be routinely funded on the NHS for breast cancer, as cost-regulators have now issued draft guidelines rejecting the drug.

The preliminary guidelines do not recommend Verzenios (abemaciclib), in combination with an aromatase inhibitor, for some types of breast cancer that has spread.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the drug is as effective as both palbociclib and ribociclib, which NICE already recommends as options for treating hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)‑negative, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer as initial hormone therapy.

However, “once the patient access schemes are taken into account, abemaciclib is not cost effective relative to the others,” it said.

Verzenios, like palbociclib and ribociclib, is a CDK4/6 inhibitor, which work to boost the effect of aromatase inhibitors that block the production of the hormone oestrogen, preventing it from stimulating the growth of some breast cancers.