A new drug to treat advanced kidney cancer has been fast-tracked for use on the NHS, a health watchdog said yesterday.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) is recommending Votrient (pazopanib). Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to a 12.5 per discount to the NHS, following the outcome of a clinical trial, comparing the drug with Sutent (sunitinib), which is already approved.

Dr Carole Longson, from Nice, said: "Pazopanib will offer patients an additional option and, for some, a more favourable side-effect profile."

Each year more than 8,000 new cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed in the UK, and almost half will lead to death.