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Breast cancer drug approved in UK

Press Association logoPress Association 3/11/2016

Health officials in the UK have approved the first breast cancer drug in a decade for widespread use through its national health system.

Women with some forms of breast cancer will be able to benefit from the drug eribulin after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) agreed it should be made available across the NHS in England.

The drug, also known as Halaven, was approved after new evidence came to light about its effectiveness with trials showing it can offer women three months of additional life compared to other therapies.

Breast Cancer Now chief executive Baroness Delyth Morgan said the drug will offer a "crucial" alternative to patients and its approval is positive news.

In draft guidance, NICE said the drug should be made available to women who have locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has spread after two rounds of chemotherapy.

"It offers a crucial life-extending alternative for patients whose breast cancer has become resistant to other therapies, and for those with triple negative disease, who desperately lack treatment options," she said.

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