The latest batch of decisions by the Scottish Medicines Consortium has given patients with certain forms of breast cancer, Gaucher disease and erectile dysfunction new treatment options on the NHS.
Pfizer’s Ibrance (palbociclib) was accepted as a treatment for previously untreated HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer.
The first-in-class, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor has been shown to significantly slow the progression of the most common subtype of breast cancer in women.
“I am delighted that Scottish patients with hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative metastatic breast cancer will be able to access palbociclib within the NHS,” said Professor David Cameron, Professor of Oncology and Director of Cancer Services, NHS Lothian.
“It is arguably the biggest advance in the treatment of these patients that we have seen for several years, and I am pleased that it will be available for our patients.”
Elsewhere, Sanofi-Genzyme’s Cerdelga (eliglustat) was accepted for the treatment of Gaucher disease, a rare, inherited and debilitating disorder which, if untreated, can cause a range of symptoms such as excessive fatigue, spontaneous bleeding and bone pain.
Through SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for medicines used to treat very rare and end of life conditions, it was highlighted that current treatment involves patients or their carers administering fortnightly enzyme replacement therapy via intravenous infusion at home, which is both time consuming and stressful.
Cerdelga provides “a well-tolerated alternative daily oral treatment which may improve symptom control and quality of life for patients and carers,” the SMC noted.
The cost watchdog also approved funding for Evolan Pharma AB’s Invicorp (aviptadil/phenotolamine) for the symptomatic treatment of erectile dysfunction in adult males due to neurogenic, vasculogenic, psychogenic, or mixed aetiology.
The drug’s use is being restricted for use in those who have failed on oral therapies (oral phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors) and other non-injectable formulations of erectile dysfunction medications.
On the downside, LEO Pharma’s biologic Kyntheum (brodalumab) was turned down for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
The drug was superior to placebo and to an alternative interleukin inhibitor at improving symptoms in adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, but the company “did not present a sufficiently robust economic analysis to gain acceptance," the SMC said.