The National Institute of Clinical Excellence's (Nice) decision not to recommend Vemurafenib as a treatment option for melanoma patients since it is too expensive has attracted criticism from a skin cancer patient support group.
Factor 50 has urged Nice to reconsider its decision to not recommend the drug as it could prove to be a "potentially lifesaving" drug and added that the decision was same as passing a death sentence.
Vemurafenib, manufactured by Roche, costs around £1,750 per patient per week and though Roche was willing to offer an undisclosed discount for the NHS, Nice decided that it was not cost effective.
"Standard treatments that have been available since the 1970s are ineffective and to deny this drug to patients, is tantamount to passing them a death sentence. I am astonished and deeply worried that Nice has not given approval to yet another drug which will significantly alter the lives of melanoma patients", Factor 50's chief executive officer Gill Nuttall said.