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NICE recommends Astellas' Betmiga for overactive bladder

Final draft guidance recommends Vesicare successor

A new class of drug to treat overactive bladder is set to become available on the NHS in England after it was recommended by the country's cost-effectiveness body for medicines.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said in final draft guidance that Astellas' Betmiga (mirabegron) was an efficient use of NHS resources to treat people with overactive bladder for whom antimuscarinic drugs– the current most common treatment – are not suitable.

The news will be a boost for Japan-based pharma company Astellas, which is touting Betmiga as a successor to Vesicare (solifenacin succinate), the company's current leading overactive bladder treatment.

Vesicare is due to lose patent protection in 2018, however, and Betmiga extends Astellas' reach in the therapy area, while also producing fewer side effects than Vesicare.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE's Health Technology Evaluation Centre director, explained the benefits Betmiga could bring to five million people in England and Wales thought to have overactive bladder.

“Offering mirabegron as an option for treatment, with clear advice about its potential benefits and side effects will help improve quality of life for people living with this distressing condition,” she said.

“Having an over-active bladder can significantly affect physical, psychological and social wellbeing. The condition can cause people to find work and normal social activities difficult and some become so anxious about their symptoms that they find it hard to leave their homes.”

Betmiga was approved by the European Commission in January 2013, adding to its existing approvals in Japan and the US.

Ken Jones, the CEO of Astellas Pharma Europe, commented: “Astellas is delighted to receive a positive recommendation for Betmiga (mirabegron) from NICE as it means this innovative treatment is one step closer to being a real option for patients whose lives are impaired by overactive bladder symptoms. We now look forward to the formal conclusion of the NICE process in line with the agreed timings."

17th May 2013

From: Sales

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