National Institute for Clinical Excellence

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The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.



Kidney Cancer Medicines

NICE has been in deliberations about four kidney cancer medicines since 2008. It initially rejected all four - Sutent by Pfizer, Avastin by Roche, Nexavar by Bayer and Torisel by Wyeth - claiming they would only save lives by up to six months and the NHS money would be better spent elsewhere.[1] After criticism, it made an 'end-of-life' cost benefit appraisal and recommended Sutent after Pfizer agreed to offer the first cycle of treatments for free in England. [2] In August 2009, NICE announced it had revised its guidelines for 'end-of-life' drugs and the three other kidney cancer meds were still rejected. The announcement was once again criticised, this time by Roche's UK CEO John Melville who said the decision was 'entirely illogical'.[3]



Address: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
MidCity Place
71 High Holborn
Telephone: +44 (0)845 003 7780
Fax: +44 (0)845 003 7784



  1. Hawkes, N.35,000-a-year kidney cancer drug too costly NHS The Times. Accessed 27 August 2009.
  2. Timmins, N. Only One Cancer Drug Approved. Financial Times. Accessed 27 August 2009.
  3. Reuters. UK's NICE attacked as cancer drugs again rebuffed Accessed 27 August 2009.