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NICE backs Celgene’s Revlimid in bone marrow disorder

Recommends that drug can be used on NHS to treat myelodysplastic syndromes

Celgene Revlimid lenalidomide The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has backed the extension of Celgene's Revlimid to cover a group of bone marrow disorders.

Final draft guidance published by NICE says that Revlimid (lenalidomide) should be available on the NHS in England and Wales to treat myelodysplastic syndromes.

The recommendation overturns negative guidance published by NICE in 2013 due to concerns about the drug's £3,780 per month price-tag.

However, Celgene has since agreed to provide Revlimid at a discount to the NHS in this indication through a patient access scheme.

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: “Celgene – who market lenalidomide – worked with us to provide enough evidence to make it possible for us to recommend it for this group of people.

He added: “Celgene provided a revised analyses and further information on their proposal for a reduction in the cost of the drug to the NHS.”

Myelodysplastic syndromes are characterised by the underproduction of one or more types of blood cells due to dysfunction of the bone marrow and are diagnosed in about 2,000 people each year in England.

Symptoms of the disorders include weakness and frequent infections, although they can also lead to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and anaemia.

The NICE recommendation covers the use of Revlimid in people with a specific type of myelodysplastic syndrome that is characterised by a chromosomal abnormality called an isolated deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality.

New treatments are desperately needed for this group of people as the current treatment option includes regular blood transfusions.

The draft guidance is now up for consultation. If finalised, it would add to Revlimid's existing NHS recommendations, which include its use as part of a combination with dexamethasone to treat adults with multiple myeloma.

However, Celgene recently received disappointing news from NICE in this area as the agency issued draft guidance that does not recommend the use of Revlimid (to treat multiple myeloma in patients who have relapsed after taking Janssen's Velcade (bortezomib).

Article by
Thomas Meek

20th August 2014

From: Sales

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