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UK's NICE Upholds Block on Alimta

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Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:42AM EDT

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Britain's healthcare cost-effectiveness watchdog said on Wednesday that Eli Lilly and Co's drug Alimta would not be recommended as a treatment for lung cancer on the state health service.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said its experts had rejected an appeal against the decision by Lilly, because they were not convinced of the clinical and cost effectiveness of Alimta compared with other lung cancer treatments. Alimta is one of a number of new drugs spurned by NICE, to the anger of drugmakers and patient groups.

Last month, however, the watchdog did endorse the medicine for treating certain patients with asbestos-related cancer.

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