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MS and cholesterol drugs picked for new UK rapid uptake push

Accelerated Access Collaborative aims to break down barriers to faster uptake

Rival cholesterol lowering drugs Sanofi's Praluent and Amgen’s Repatha and Merck’s multiple sclerosis treatment Mavenclad have been selected as high priority products for rapid uptake in England.

The medicines have been chosen by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (ACC) a new initiative aimed at speeding up access to healthcare innovation which could improve patient care and prove to be highly cost effective for England’s NHS.

Repatha

Amgen's Repatha now has 'Rapid Uptake' status alongside Sanofi's rival Praluent and five other innovations

The medicines are on a list of seven new technologies to be promoted for rapid uptake, alongside new diagnostic tests and medical devices:

Accelerated Access Partnership Rapid Uptake Products

The list as released by the Department of Health and Social Care and NICE, which is co-ordinating the ACC, including comments on the rationale for including the technologies

  • Heartflow - A non-invasive personalised cardiac test that reduces the need for unnecessary procedures
  • Placental growth factor (PIG-F) based testing for suspected pre-eclampsia - tests for early diagnosis of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, which if unmonitored, can cause serious complications for mother and baby.
  • PCSK9 inhibitors for treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia and mixed dyslipidaemia  - Cost-effective drugs that significantly lower cholesterol.
  • High sensitivity troponin tests for early rule out of myocardial infarction (acute) - Diagnostic tests that detect whether or not a patient is at risk or previously had a heart attack.
  • Quantitative faecal immunochemical tests for colorectal cancer - Diagnostic tests that reduce referrals for patients with suspected colorectal cancer.
  • Merck’s Mavenclad (cladribine) for treating highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in adults - A drug for multiple sclerosis with a novel mode of action, high efficacy and a low treatment and monitoring burden
  • Urolift for lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia

The list is made up of seven ‘high-potential products’ with a strong evidence base that are already available to the NHS, but which have seen less uptake than expected.

The ACC pledges to support these products so that they can be rapidly introduced and their use scaled up across England.

It was nearly a year ago that NHS England struck a pricing and reimbursement deal with Merck on Mavenclad, a new oral treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Meanwhile NICE recommended both Praluent and Repatha in May 2016. However while NICE approval is meant to ensure uptake across England, the reality is often different, with major regional differences in their use.

The ACC aims to highlight the cost effectiveness stamp of approval for these technologies, and address practical barriers to their wider and faster uptake.

Liz Henderson

Merck's Liz Henderson

“We are delighted that Mavenclad has, yet again, been recognised as an innovative medicine which has the potential to offer benefits to both patients and carers as well as value for money to the NHS,” said Liz Henderson, General Manager of Merck UK & ROI.

She added: “Merck is committed to working in partnership with the AAC to address barriers to uptake and increase system efficiencies to ensure all eligible UK patients can benefit from this innovation.”

Another company pleased with the selected products is Roche Diagnostics, with two of its products – diagnostic tests for  suspected heart attack and pre-eclampsia on the list.

Geoff Twist, Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics Limited said he was ‘delighted’ at the decision.

“We put patients and our healthcare delivery customers at the heart of everything we do and both tests can support more timely and effective diagnosis for patients with potentially life-threatening conditions."

He added: "We passionately believe in the wide-reaching value of diagnostics and their power to transform healthcare, and are hopeful that many other such tests that could benefit patients while enabling more efficient use of NHS resources will be introduced across the healthcare system in the near future."

While the ACC’s first rapid uptake list is welcome for the life sciences sector, it is only a small part of a much bigger UK market access picture. Two major concerns currently hovering over the sector are the ongoing renegotiation of the main pricing agreement the PPRS, as well, of course, as Brexit.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

24th October 2018

From: Healthcare

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