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NICE recommends Celgene's Revlimid

NICE has published guidance on the use of Revlimid (lenalidomide) for multiple myeloma

Guidance was scheduled to be published on June 24, 2009 but has been made available following the screening of the BBC documentary The Price of Life on June 17. The programme followed the development of NICE's guidance on the use of Revlimid for the treatment of multiple myeloma, and provided viewers with an understanding of the complex issues surrounding this appraisal from the perspective of patients, NICE, the manufacturer – Celgene, and the NHS.

In the technology appraisal guidance document, Lenalidomide for the treatment of multiple myeloma in people who have received at least one prior therapy, NICE recommends lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone within its licensed indication, as an option for the treatment of multiple myeloma only in people who have received two or more prior therapies.

Patients currently being treated with lenalidomide for multiple myeloma, but who have not received two or more prior therapies, will be able to continue therapy until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.

As part of a risk-sharing scheme, Revlimid manufacturer, Celgene will meet the cost of the drug for patients who remain on the treatment for more than 26 cycles (around two years).

Multiple myeloma is an incurable disease and the choice of treatment given to patients at each relapse is influenced by their initial treatment. Bortezomib (marketed by Janssen-Cilag as Velcade) is the current treatment recommended by NICE at first relapse and usually used in combination with dexamethasone. Current guidance restricts Velcade from being used at second relapse, as it was not found to be cost effective.

The guidance will be formally issued to the NHS on June 24, 2009.

19th June 2009

From: Healthcare

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