Impact of restricting access to high-cost medications for hepatocellular carcinoma

Yuk Ting Ma, Daniel H Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer death globally, and its incidence is increasing in the West, including the UK, with the increasing burden of chronic liver disease. Until recently, systemic treatment options for advanced disease were limited. However, randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib prolongs survival in appropriately selected patients, and this drug has become the standard of care for patients with advanced HCC. However, a single-technology appraisal by the NICE recommended that the UK National Health Service should not fund sorafenib on the grounds of cost-effectiveness. A number of other novel agents and combinations are currently in clinical trials, the results of which may further expand the treatment options and indications for systemic therapy in HCC. This review discusses the impact of restricting access to high-cost medications for patients with HCC in the UK, and describes potential strategies and future directions that may improve the cost-effectiveness of such drugs. It also describes the potential impact, pending national guidance, of variations in local funding decision-making on patient outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-73
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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