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Patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer still have access to drug regardless of NICE decision

Halaven® (eribulin) continues to be available for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens1 even though recent guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is not recommending eribulin for use in an earlier setting.2

In 2016, eribulin became the first breast cancer treatment to be recommended by NICE in nearly a decade for the treatment of adults with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have progressed after at least two chemotherapeutic regimens which may include an anthracycline or a taxane, and capecitabine.1 More recently NICE has been assessing eribulin for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after one chemotherapy regimen.

Eisai is yet again extremely disappointed with a decision from NICE. Metastatic breast cancer patients can only currently access a limited number of new treatments in England, and as eribulin has been shown to significantly improve overall survival in women with this disease it is an important option that they should have access to as early as possible,” said Gary Hendler, Chief Commercial Officer Eisai Oncology Business Group, Chairman and CEO Eisai EMEA.

Denying earlier access to it for these patients will affect their outcomes and as a company focussed on making a positive difference to the lives of patients and their families, NICE’s decision concerns us greatly. Thankfully patients can still access eribulin in the third line,” he continued.

Approximately 55,200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in England each year,3 of whom one third subsequently develop metastatic disease.4 Only 15% of women with metastatic breast cancer will survive beyond five years.5

I’ve been using Halaven® (eribulin) in the treatment of breast cancer for over six years. It is a very valuable drug in the management of advanced breast cancer and I have observed some positive outcomes. Although the second line use of this drug was not approved by NICE, I am delighted that the third line approval for advanced metastatic breast cancer remains,” commented Dr. Hartmut Kristeleit, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Eribulin was first approved and launched in the UK in 2011 and is currently approved in 64 countries around the world including all of the European Union, Canada, United States, Russia, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan and Singapore.


  1. NICE:… Accessed: February 2018
  2. NICE:… Accesses February 2018
  3. Cancer Research UK. Breast cancer incidence by sex and UK region. Available at:… type/breast-cancer/incidence-invasive#heading-Zero  Accessed: February 2018
  4. O’Shaughnessy J. Extending survival with chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer. The Oncologist. 2005;10(Suppl 3):20-29.
  5. Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer – Outlook by Grade – Available at: Accessed February 2018