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UK cost agency says "no" to Novartis blood cancer drug Jakavi

LONDON (Reuters) - A new drug from Novartis for myelofibrosis, a rare blood cancer, is not worth using on the state health service, Britain's healthcare cost watchdog said on Wednesday.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said it had issued new draft guidance not recommending Jakavi because it could not be considered a cost-effective use of resources.

The drug costs 3,600 pounds ($5,600) for a 60-tablet pack, corresponding to an annual cost of approximately 43,200 pounds per patient.

Jakavi, which was licensed from Incyte, was given a marketing authorization in Europe last August.

Industry analysts expect it to have annual worldwide sales of around $1.5 billion by 2017, according to consensus forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters Pharma.

The NICE draft guidance is now out for consultation, ahead of a final decision on the medicine expected in June.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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