Roche (RHHBY) Loses UK Appeal Over Long-term Tarceva Use  
6/29/2011 6:44:46 AM

Britain's health cost watchdog has again rejected Roche's Tarceva pill for long-term use in lung cancer patients who have had treatment to stabilise their disease, because it is too costly for the benefit it offers. The decision is a blow for Swiss drugmaker, which had appealed against an earlier rebuff from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) handed down last year. NICE, which decides if medicines should be paid for on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS), said it was not able to recommend the drug, also known as erlotinib, for maintenance use. Tarceva is already backed as a second-line treatment for non small cell lung cancer and Roche had hoped to win wider approval for the once-daily pill as a long-term therapy for patients who have already had chemotherapy.