Posted: Sun 20th Mar 2016

Pancreatic Cancer Drug Abraxane Continues To Be Available In Wales

This article is old - Published: Sunday, Mar 20th, 2016

The pancreatic cancer drug Abraxane will continue to be available in Wales despite a decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to not recommend its use in the NHS, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has announced. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In September 2014, the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) appraised Abraxane for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and recommended it as a treatment option in NHS Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It has been available to patients with pancreatic cancer, who meet the clinical criteria, in Wales since the positive AWMSG decision. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

NICE subsequently appraised Abraxane and published its decision not recommend its use within the NHS in England or Wales in October 2015. NICE advice normally supersedes an AWMSG recommendation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Abraxane has been available in Wales, in line with the AWMSG recommendation, as an interim measure following the publication of the NICE guidance. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In light of the clear clinical need and the potential for the drug to have a positive impact on a patient population of between 400 and 500 people in Wales, the Welsh Government has reached an agreement with Abraxane’s manufacturer Celgene to secure continued access for Welsh patients. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The manufacturer is keen to submit new real-world data to NICE and has committed to seek a re-appraisal within the next two years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Drakeford said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I’m pleased to confirm the Welsh Government has finalised an access agreement with Celgene to enable continued availability of Abraxane for Welsh patients with pancreatic cancer. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This agreement recognises that current treatment options are limited and the prognosis for patients is often poor.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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