Our overall view on the draft is that the NICE committee has not looked at this in a pragmatic way or from the patients’ point of view. By denying access to this treatment, NICE does not truly understand the issues that are important to patients.
As NICE points out, the trial involving Erbitux resulted in robust findings that are very significant to patients in England and Wales with regard to the fact they will live months longer and will have an alternative should they not be able to tolerate chemoradiotherapy. NICE also notes that the treatment is cost effective.
We need to appeal to health professionals and patients to feedback to NICE on this draft guidance, which if unchanged, would deny access to the only new medicine in Head and Neck Cancer in many years for patients in England and Wales.
There are a small number of patients with Head and Neck Cancer who are set to lose a large amount if we do not act now.