Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > NICE Fails to Recommend Alimta (Pemetrexed) for Maintenance Treatment of NSCLC

NICE Fails to Recommend Alimta (Pemetrexed) for Maintenance Treatment of NSCLC

Posted 25 February 2013 | By Louise Zornoza

The UK's cost containment agency, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), released draft guidance on 22 February 2013 that does not recommend Lilly's pemetrexed (Alimta) for the maintenance treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following induction therapy with pemetrexed and cisplatin. 

The CEO of NICE, Sir Andrew Dillon, acknowledged that the recommendation is based on cost and not on the therapeutic effectiveness of the new drug. "It is disappointing not to be able to recommend pemetrexed in our preliminary guidance, but we can only recommend treatments which are both clinically and cost effective," Dillon said.

NICE has recommended pemetrexed as a first line treatment option for NSCLC and as a maintenance treatment option following platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with gemcitabine, paclitaxel or docetaxel. 

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around 38,000 people diagnosed every year. Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 80% of all cases. The two main goals of maintenance treatment are to prolong the period of remission after first-line chemotherapy and increase the likelihood of being able to receive second-line chemotherapy.

Tags: UK

Regulatory Focus newsletters

All the biggest regulatory news and happenings.