The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has released its latest round of medicines approved for use on NHS Scotland.
Among the five decisions are breast cancer and kidney cancer treatments, with one rejection for a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) therapy.
First off, the committee accepted Novartis’ Kisqali (ribociclib) when used in combination with fulvestrant for post-menopausal women living with the most common form of advanced breast cancer.
The drug was accepted following consideration through the SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process, which is used for medicines to treat end of life and very rare conditions.
The organisation explained that in the PACE meeting, patient groups and clinicians highlighted that existing treatment options are limited and may not be suitable for all patients, and so Kisqali can “increase the time before the condition progresses, allowing patients valuable additional months in the context of limited overall survival time.”
Secondly, the SMC accepted Eisai’s Kisplyx (lenvatinib), also through the PACE process, for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in those who have been previously treated with a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor.
“Patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma have to cope with a significant symptom burden as well as coming to terms with their condition. Lenvatinib may provide them with valuable extra time before the disease relapses and for some patients may extend their overall survival time," said SMC chairman Dr Alan MacDonald.
Another positive decision was handed to Consilient Health's Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) for the treatment of bladder pain syndrome, a condition of the bladder which causes pain and a frequent, urgent need to pass urine.
Current treatment involves bladder instillation where a catheter is inserted into the bladder to administer liquid medicine, however, Elmiron is an oral treatment which may reduce patient use of painkillers and reduce urinary frequency, allowing improved sleep and potential to return to normal activities.
Further, Merz Pharma UK's Xeomin (clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type A) was accepted for the treatment of excessive drooling due to neurological disorders such as ataxia, and finally Meda Pharmaceuticals' Zyclara (imiquimod) was recommended for the treatment of actinic keratosis, a precancerous, abnormal skin growth that can develop after too much exposure to sunlight.
The committee also rejected one medicine, Roche’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients whose cancer has spread and who have not yet had chemotherapy.
"Although the PACE process gives our committee members additional flexibility in their decision making, they were unable to accept atezolizumab for the treatment of NSCLC as the company’s evidence around its benefits when compared to existing treatment options was not strong enough," noted Dr MacDonald.