British health regulatory agency National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has rejected three of the popular bowel cancer drugs, thus making them unavailable through the NHS.
Avastin, Erbitux or Vectibix are usually used by doctors while treating bowel cancer. However with NICE's decision of not allowing the drugs to be made available through NHS, patients will now have to rely on private medical insurance if they want to opt for any of the three drugs.
NICE said that it did not believe the three drugs to be cost effective and hence took the step of not recommending them to the NHS. The agency went on to add that none of the studies conducted during the appraisal of the drugs showed that they extended the lives of patients with the disease.
"We have already recommended six treatments for various stages of colorectal cancer and are disappointed not to be able to recommend cetuximab (Erbitux), bevacizumab (Avastin) and panitumumab (Vectibix) for this stage", NICE's chief executive, Andrew Dillon said.