This has been cut and pasted from the NICE website:

“In final draft guidance, NICE has recommended nilotinib (Tasigna) and imatinib (Glivec), both made by Novartis, for the first line treatment of CML (chronic myeloid leukaemia). Dasatinib (Sprycel), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb is not recommended.

This appraisal incorporates a partial review of previous guidance published in October 2003 where standard dose (400mg) imatinib was recommended for treating first-line CML (technology appraisal guidance 70).

In response to the draft guidance NICE Chief Executive, Sir Andrew Dillon said: “The draft recommendations reaffirm the use of imatinib as an effective treatment for the majority of patients and a cost-effective use of NHS resources and we are also very pleased to be able to add a further treatment option for these patients, by recommending nilotinib.

“Although no trials directly comparing dasatinib and nilotinib were available, the committee concluded from indirect comparisons that dasatinib and nilotinib could be considered equally as effective in treating CML. However, the Department of Health and the manufacturer of nilotinib have already agreed to provide the drug to the NHS at a discounted price. This reduction in cost enabled the independent Committee to approve nilotinib for use on the NHS.”

The size of the discount remains confidential.

The draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against it. Until NICE issues final guidance, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments. This draft guidance does not mean that people currently taking dasatinib will stop receiving it. They have the option to continue treatment until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.”

This decision will not affect anybody currently taking dasatinib, they will be able to get their prescription filled for as long as the will need it, but it will no longer be available to newly diagnosed patients.

As expected, because BMS did not offer the DoH a patient access scheme, dasatinib has been refused positive guidance.  It was found by NICE to be not cost-effective, and therefore will not be reimbursed by the NHS, effectively making it unavailable for use in UK hospitals, unless you can get it funded via the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF).  However, even if this is the case, the CDF is due to be terminated in 2014, when a Value Based Pricing policy will come into force.  Whether this will also act retrospectively remains to be seen.