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Breakthrough lung cancer drug Tagrisso now available on NHS

300 patients in the UK will be eligible for Tagrisso every year

A last-chance drug that can lead to an “unprecedented” reduction in lung cancer tumours is now available on the National Health Service (NHS)

Tagrisso, which has been dubbed as a “breakthrough” drug by its manufacturer, AstraZeneca, was granted a licence in February.

The drug, which is to be taken once a day, was created for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who have a specific mutation, EGFR T790M-positive. According to the manufacturer’s press release, Tagrisso has an objective response rate of 59% and duration of response of 12.4 months

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has issued a statement saying that Tagrisso will be made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), after a financial agreement was reached with AstraZeneca.

Data collected from phase 2 clinical trials involving 411 people who had failed on prior treatment found patients typically lived for 11 months without their disease worsening. 66% of patients experienced a reduction in the size of their tumours, while six out of 397 patients experienced a complete response – meaning experts could find no evidence of disease. Overall, almost twice as many patients responded to the treatment compared to chemotherapy and the drug stalled progression of the cancer by an extra four months.

Nice stated that the cost of the drug agreement with AstraZeneca is being kept confidential, and that without the agreement Tagrisso costs £4,722.30 per pack of 30 80mg tablets.

Read the full story by The Independent here.

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