Clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence on fulvestrant for untreated hormone-receptor positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer was submitted to the single technology appraisal process of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence by the manufacturer of fulvestrant. The Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre was commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as an independent Evidence Review Group to critique the company’s submitted evidence. Fulvestrant was compared directly with anastrozole in two randomised controlled trials and was compared indirectly by means of a network meta-analysis with anastrozole, letrozole and tamoxifen. This article summarises the Evidence Review Group’s review of the company’s submission and summarises the guidance the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Appraisal Committee issued in January 2018. The Evidence Review Group had several concerns, the most important of which related to the degree to which fulvestrant might confer a benefit in overall survival. This was because mature data were not available from the key phase III trial FALCON. The economic model was sensitive to changes in overall survival and the Evidence Review Group considered the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was uncertain and likely to increase once mature results from FALCON become available. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Appraisal Committee concluded that fulvestrant could not be recommended for treating locally advanced or metastatic estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have not received previous endocrine therapy.
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