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UK's NICE recommends Merck KGaA's head/neck cancer drug

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Merck KGaA's cancer drug Erbitux for routine use under the National Health Service.

Erbitux is used in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy for treating patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The treatment has been available in England through the U.K.'s cancer drugs fund since 2010.

The decision confirms the positive benefit the drug can have on the survival of patients, Germany-based Merck said in a news release. The recommendation also secures access to Erbitux for new patients in England with oral cavity tumors.