PBAC knocks back bowel cancer drug

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has rejected a submission for the PBS listing of regorafenib (Stivarga) for the treatment of metastatic bowel cancer following failure or intolerance to previous therapy.

The observed improvement in patients taking the drug is “small and of uncertain clinical significance, especially in the context of the increase in serious adverse effects associated with the treatment,” the committee reports.

The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for regorafenib compared to best supportive care is “unacceptably high”.

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