If the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is to be believed then £1,750 per patient per week for the treatment of melanoma is very expensive. Due to this reason, they have rejected the drug, stating that it is very expensive and the long term benefits of the drug are also not clear.
The drug that is in question is Zelboraf or vemurafenib and is used for malignant melanoma that has spread and carries a specific genetic mutation. This is not the first time that such objection to the drug has been made. Earlier also, the company and the authorities agreed to slash the prices of the drug so that it is affordable and nominal. But it seems that NICE still felt it was not cost effective.
According to the Chief Executive of Nice, Sir Andrew Dillon "We need to be sure that new treatments provide sufficient benefits to patients to justify the significant cost the NHS is being asked to pay. Vemurafenib is an expensive drug and its long term benefits are difficult to quantify".
The company has laid down the claim that the drug can extend life from 9.6 months to more than 13 months, which is why the price of the drug is very reasonable.