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New Real World Evidence (RWE) Study Confirms Cost Effectiveness of Iressa® (gefitinib) Under Single Payment Access (SPA) Scheme in UK

LONDON, November 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

New RWE data presented today at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) annual conference in Berlin confirm that AstraZeneca's Iressa is a cost effective treatment for EGFR-TK positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).[1]

The RWE data of 266 UK patients only, show that the average length of therapy with Iressa is at least 12 months for those patients who the NHS paid for, when supplied via the AstraZeneca SPA scheme. These data confirm benefit beyond the value accepted by NICE in 2010. NICE determined Iressa to be cost effective if used under the AstraZeneca SPA scheme on the basis that patients would receive 8.8 months duration of treatment on average.

In the UK, Iressa is made available to the NHS via the AstraZeneca SPA scheme. The scheme works by invoicing the NHS only once per NHS patient, which covers the full duration of treatment regardless of how long that may be. The NHS is only invoiced for those patients who receive a third pack of Iressa - no charge is made if a registered patient only receives 2 packs (months) of treatment.

The SPA scheme was introduced by AstraZeneca and was designed to ensure value for

money to enable budget impact to be predicted more accurately and to be easy to implement across the NHS.

"The presentation of the real world evidence of the use of Iressa under the AstraZeneca SPA scheme provides important evidence that demonstrates how Iressa delivers value and cost effectiveness for clinicians and budget holders under the SPA scheme.  It is vital that pharmaceutical industry can provide solutions like this which capture and generate usage data to demonstrate value of treatments, as these are key to allow patient access to medicines," said Steve Williamson MRPharmS (IPresc), MSc, FFCP, Consultant Pharmacist in Cancer Services.


About Iressa

Iressa is indicated in adults for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK).[2]

Iressa is a selective small molecule inhibitor of EGFR-TK and has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients with tumours with activating mutations of the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain regardless of line of therapy in a number of clinical trials.[2]

The most frequently reported adverse drug reactions (ADRs), reported in clinical trials included diarrhoea and skin reactions (including rash, acne, dry skin and pruritus). ADRs usually occur within the first month of therapy and are generally reversible. Approximately 8% of patients had a severe ADR (common toxicity criteria, (CTC) grade 3 or 4). Approximately 3% of patients stopped therapy due to an ADR.[2]

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) has occurred in 1.3% of patients, often severe (CTC grade 3-4). Cases with fatal outcomes have been reported.[2]

About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

NSCLCs include squamous cell cancers (the most common type of lung cancer), adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. About four in five cases of lung cancer in the UK are NSCLC.[3]

EGFR-TK (epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase) is part of the signal pathways involved in cell proliferation and therefore blocking this slows the growth and spread of the tumour. 14% of patients with NSCLC will be positive for EGFR-TK.[4]

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.  For more information please visit:


  1. Vioix H, FranzenS, Selby D et al. Duration of gefitinib treatment in EGFR mutation positive NSCLC patients in a UK single payment access (SPA) scheme. Presented at ISPOR 3-7 November 2012.
  2. Iressa Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) Accessed October 2012.
  3. Patient UK. Lung Cancer. Accessed October 2012.
  4. Pennycuick A, Simpson T, Crawley D et al. Routine EGFR and KRAS Mutation analysis using COLD-PCR in non-small cell lung cancer. Int J Clin Pract. 2012; 66 (8): 748-752.

SOURCE AstraZeneca UK

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