LONDON -()- The U.K.'s health-cost regulator backed Novartis AG's ( NOVN.VX) cancer drug Tasigna and older oncology medicine Glivec for first-line treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia, but it rejected Bristol-Myers Squibb's ( BMY) rival CML product Sprycel, after Novartis offered a discount on Tasigna, it said in draft guidance Tuesday.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, which decides which treatments should be used in the U.K.'s publicly funded National Health Service, said its appraisal committee concluded from indirect comparisons that Sprycel, generically known as dasatinib, and Tasigna, generically named nilotinib, could be considered equally as effective in treating CML, a cancer of the white .
Both drugs are expensive, costing over GBP30,000 per patient per year and CML is also a chronic condition, meaning the drugs will be used for a long period of time, NICE said. The discount offered on Tasigna enabled the committee to approve it for use on the NHS.
NICE didn't disclose the size of the discount Novartis offered.