The NHS is to delay the introduction of Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) despite backing by the hepatitis C therapy by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, The Guardian reported Friday.
According to NICE, Sovaldi is cost-effective because it is a cure for people who would otherwise cost the NHS large amounts of money.
However, NHS England has said that the cost of treating 20 000 people with Sovaldi would by 1 billion pounds, with a 12-week course of the drug costing almost 35,000 pounds.
In its final draft guidance, NICE said it was allowing NHS England to postpone implementation for four months, until the end of July instead of the beginning of April.
Stelios Karagiannoglou, Gilead's general manager for the UK and Ireland, said the company was pleased with the NICE recommendation, but added "we are disappointed that the majority of patients will not gain access to this important medicine until later this year."