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NICE backs Celgene's Revlimid in rare blood cancer

Patient access scheme sways the HTA body

Celgene Revlimid lenalidomideNICE has recommended Celgene's Revlimid (lenalidomide) be used by the NHS in England and Wales for the rare blood cancer myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

The decision overturns the negative guidance NICE issued last year, when it cited concerns over Revlimid's £3,780 per month cost, and comes after Celgene's agreed to share some of the drug's cost through a patient access scheme.

This will see the NHS pay for up to 26 monthly cycles of the drug, after which Celgene has agreed to subsequently provide Revlimid free of charge for patients who receive more than 26 monthly cycles.

Carole Longson, NICE director for the centre of health technology evaluation, said: “We know that lenalidomide is an effective therapy and are glad that Celgene - who market the drug – provided further evidence on how well it works and also offered a patient access scheme.”

Revlimid was recommended for people with low- or intermediate-1-risk MDS associated with an isolated deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality when other therapeutic options are insufficient or inadequate. Currently, the main treatment option for patients is supportive care including regular blood transfusions.

MDS are a group of bone marrow disorders characterised by the underproduction of one or more types of blood cells due to malfunctioning bone marrow. MDS can lead to life threatening disease such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), as well as anaemia and the increased risk of bleeding and infections.

The NHS now has three months to make the drug available to those who may require it.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

25th September 2014

From: Sales

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