Rubraca Conditionally Rejected for Use on NHS England for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Rubraca Conditionally Rejected for Use on NHS England for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
Rubraca (rucaparib), a therapy for relapsed or progressive ovarian, fallopian, or primary peritoneal cancer, was provisionally rejected for use on England's National Health Service (NHS). In justifying its decision, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the U.K. agency that provides healthcare guidance, cited a lack of evidence supporting a clear benefit in terms of patient survival and an excessive cost. "NICE felt there wasn't enough evidence to be confident about the drug's long-term benefits, and that the benefit it gave wasn't enough to justify its cost," Rose Gray, policy manager at Cancer Research UK, said in a press release. NICE will review its decision in September, but until then, Gray urges the agency, the NHS, and Clovis Oncology, Rubraca's developer, "to work together ... to explore how the drug can be made available to NHS patients." Rubraca is a type of anti-cancer agent known as a PARP inhibitor. These agents block an enzyme called poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which helps repair DNA. By blocking this process, PARP inhibitors keep cancer cells from repairing their damaged DNA, causing their death. Three PARP inhibitors are currently approved in the U.S. and European Union — GSK's Zejula (niraparib), AstraZeneca's Lynparza (olaparib), and Rubraca — all available as tablets or capsules. Rubraca is approved as a maintenance therapy for patients with cancers of the ovary, fallopian tube, or the peritoneum (the membrane lining the abdomen), whose disease came back and who are responding to platinum-based therapies, or in patients with these cancers who carry BRCA mutations and had been previously treated with two or more lines of chemotherapy. The medication is typically offered to patients whose canc
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