The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) rejected Vidaza (azacitidine) as a treatment for blood cancers in August 2009, because it is not a cost-effective use of NHS resources.
Celgene’s Vidaza is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CML) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). However, NICE considered it too costly for use among NHS patients, despite agreeing that the drug is clinically effective and even taking into account recent guidelines on appraising end-of-life treatments.
The recommendations can be contested up until August 24th and there will be a Second Appraisal Committee meeting on September 3rd.
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the UK pharmaceutical market, including some background information on NICE, is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: United Kingdom (published June 2009)