SMC APPROVES TARCEVA FOR LUNG CANCER

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved the Roche's Tarceva for use by patients with an advanced form of the most common type of lung cancer. The medication is the only once-daily pill used to treat the disease.

In clinical trials, 31 percent of patients taking Tarceva were still alive a year after treatment, compared with 20 per cent of those on a placebo. Tarcevea also reduced the risk of the disease progressing by 39 percent.

About 4,500 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in Scotland every year, with rates of the disease much higher than elsewhere in the UK. The new approval could make the drug suitable for more than 1,500 patients annually.