UK Health Watchdog Doesn't Recommend Novartis AG's Afinitor

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Novartis AG (NOVN)’s Afinitor drug failed to win the backing of the U.K.’s health-cost regulator, which said clinical trial data failed to show that the medicine is worth the cost for use in treating breast cancer. Women already receiving the drug, also known as everolimus, should continue to do so, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said in draft guidance today. If no appeals are received from the company, health professionals or the public, the agency expects to publish final guidance next month. NICE advises the U.K.’s National Health Service on the cost-effectiveness of treatments. While Afinitor taken with an estrogen-blocking drug slowed cancer by four to five months in a certain group of post-menopausal women, NICE said it couldn’t establish how long the treatment would work by itself. Novartis had agreed to supply the first month of treatment for free, NICE said.

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