Patients in Scotland with multiple myeloma and those with some types of hepatitis C have won NHS access to new treatment options after the Scottish Medicines Consortium backed routine use of Janssen’s Darzalex and Gilead’s Epclusa.
The cost watchdog has now endorsed use of Darzalex (daratumumab) for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the white blood cells that may result in complications including severe bone pain, kidney damage and a depleted immune system, reversing an earlier negative decision.
Following consideration through the SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for medicines used to treat end of life and very rare conditions, the drug has now been accepted for the treatment of patients who have received at least three prior treatment regimens.
Patient groups and clinicians highlighted that there are limited treatment options available at this stage of the disease and that, while there is currently no cure, Darzalex may provide an opportunity to improve control of the condition.
Elsewhere, Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir) was accepted for the treatment of specific sub-types of hepatitis C, offering a new route to possibly eradicating the virus.
Through a submission to SMC, patient groups highlighted that this medicine could enable patients to be treated with minimum disruption to their working and family lives.
Funding for the drug is, however, being restricted patients with genotype 2, 5 or 6 chronic HCV infection, or for those with decompensated cirrhosis, irrespective of chronic HCV genotype.
The regulator has issued separate advice accepting the use of Epclusa for the treatment of patients with genotype 3 chronic HCV infection.