Roche’s Avastin Rejected by U.K. Agency for Colorectal Cancer

Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s Avastin failed to win the backing of the U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for use in combination with chemotherapy against colorectal cancer that has spread.

The drug’s benefits don’t justify the cost, the agency said today in an e-mailed statement. The decision, which confirms preliminary rulings by NICE, is final, the agency said.

“It is disappointing that, due to its current restraints in methodology, NICE is unable to recommend Avastin for bowel cancer, despite it being available in virtually every other comparable country in the world,” Basel, Switzerland-based Roche said in an e-mailed statement. “We are keen to work with the appropriate authorities to determine the right long-term solution to access to medicines.

Avastin can be paid for through the U.K.’s Cancer Drugs Fund regardless of the medicine’s NICE approval status, Roche said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dermot Doherty in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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