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Cancer drugs lead SMC recommendations

New treatments from Roche, Lilly and Celgene backed for use in Scotland
Scotland flag

NHS patients in Scotland will have access to three new cancer drugs as part of the latest round of recommendations from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The SMC, which rules on what drugs are available for NHS reimbursement, backed Roche's Gazyvaro (obinutuzumab), Eli Lilly's Alimta (pemetrexed) and Celgene's Imnovid (pomalidomide), in addition to several drugs for other conditions.

As per recent guidance from England's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Scottish guidance for Gazyvaro covers the drug's use to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in people who have yet to receive treatment.

The recommendation for Alimta is regarding the drug's use as a monotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer, while Imnovid is backed as a treatment for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.

The positive guidance means that the drugs should be available to all eligible patients treated via NHS Scotland.

COPD treatments

Elsewhere the SMC gave positive to two drugs for use in respiratory conditions.

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Incruse (umeclidinium) is now available to adult NHS Scotland patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD patients will also have access to Novartis' Ulibro Breezhaler, a combination of indacaterol maleate and glycopyrronium bromide.

HIV, acne and orphan drugs

Other drugs backed by SMC included another treatment in the battle against HIV. Triumeq is a combination of dolutegravir, abacavir and lamivudine developed by ViiV Healthcare, a partnership between Pfizer, GSK and Shionogi.

The positive recommendation is based a discount provided by ViiV via a patient access scheme.

People with acne also have access to another treatment after the positive recommendation for Meda Pharmaceuticals' Treclin (clindamycin / tretinoin), while the SMC also gave the green light to the orphan drug Adempas (riocigaut) – marketed by Bayer – in the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, although with certain restrictions on its use.

Article by
Thomas Meek

8th December 2014

From: Sales

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