Seven new medicines have been accepted for use by the National Health Service in Scotland, including therapies for leukaemia, lung cancer and multiple sclerosis.
First up, patients in Scotland with the rare and aggressive forms of leukaemia chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive acute leukaemia will get NHS access to Ariad Pharmaceuticals’ Iclusig (ponatinib).
According to the Scottish Medicines Consoritium, the treatment offers extended survival and better symptom control for patients who cannot tolerate other options, and it can also be used to treat patients with a rare genetic mutation (T3151) for whom there is no current therapy.
Bayer’s Stivarga (regorafenib) has been admitted for adult patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) that cannot be removed surgically or have spread. According to patient groups taking part in the decision-making process, the drug offers hope to those intolerant to other therapies, to whom no other treatment option is available, and who generally have a life expectancy of less than 12 months.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Vargatef (nintedanib) has been accepted for use in combination with the chemotherapy docetaxel to treat adult patients with a particular type of non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) who have already had chemotherapy. During the process, patients and clinicians highlighted that the increase in life expectancy and improvements in quality of life which the drug may offer patients was significant when considering their limited remaining months.
Funding has also been cleared for: Novartis’ Gilenya (fingolimod), to treat adult patients with highly active relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis despite previous treatment with at least one disease modifying therapy; Fresenius’ Velphoro (sucroferric oxyhydroxide), to control phosphorus levels in adults with chronic kidney disease on haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis; AstraZeneca's Duaklir Genuair (Aclidinium/formoterol), for the relief of symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults; and Bayer’s intrauterine device Jaydess, for birth control.