Theranostics the key to UK drugs access?
This article was originally published in Clinica
The growing healthcare potential of theranostics has been thrust into a UK debate on access to new drugs through the NHS. After the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) rejected four products for the management of advanced renal cancer on the grounds of insufficient clinical and/or cost-effectiveness, oncology experts noted that better targeting of patients would make these drugs viable by improving response and effectiveness rates. In turn, this would reduce the waste of resources that results from ineffective treatment. In the case of the pharmaceutical products involved in the appraisal (Sutent, Avastin, Nexavar and Torisel), they reportedly exceeded NICE's usual cost-effectiveness threshold – £30,000 ($55,000) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) – by a factor of six. Advanced renal cancer is diagnosed in around 3,600 people per year.