Breast cancer drug Perjeta could extend patients’ lives by 15 months – study

30th September 2014

Drugmaker Roche says £43,000-a-year treatment can extend lives of women with aggressive form of disease

A new but very expensive breast cancer drug has shown “unprecedented” benefits in extending the lives of women with an aggressive form of the disease.

Data released by the pharmaceutical company Roche suggests Perjeta could, in combination with other drugs, increase the survival of women with advanced breast cancer by 15 months. The results will raise the stakes in the battle in the UK over the funding of cancer drugs.

Perjeta was turned down in principle by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) for routine NHS use last year, but women can obtain it if their doctor applies to the Cancer Drugs Fund, set up by the government to take the political heat out of the question of access to expensive new cancer medicines.

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