Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published some draft guidance about ovarian cancer drug olaparib (Lynparza®). Their current recommendation is that olaparib should not be funded by the NHS, and this is now up for consultation.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) decides on whether new treatments are to be funded by the NHS for people living in England, with Wales and Northern Ireland also implementing NICE’s recommendations. (There is a separate process in Scotland led by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.)
Earlier this year NICE announced that it was reviewing the use of olaparib for women with recurrent ovarian cancer. Olaparib is currently available for women with a BRCA mutation who have had three or more lines of chemotherapy and who are responding to chemotherapy. NICE said that these guidelines would also be included within the review.
NICE has now published its draft recommendation, that olaparib should not be funded on the NHS. Olaparib was not considered to be cost effective when compared with routine observation and it does not meet NICE’s end-of-life criteria. It is not clear whether this recommendation also includes its current use in women with a BRCA mutation who have had two or more recurrences and we have written to NICE asking them to explain this.
NICE have been clear that this recommendation does not affect treatment with olaparib started before this guidance was published. Anyone currently receiving treatment will continue to do so until they and their doctor consider it appropriate to stop.
This is a draft recommendation, the best way to influence NICE’s final decision is to respond to the consultation and make your views heard. We urge you to tell us about your experience of olaparib so we can include it in our response. If you, or someone you know, has taken olaparib, please take five minutes to tell us the difference it has made to them. All responses must be received by Monday 26 November.