Five newly licensed medicines have been accepted for use on NHS Scotland by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) following its first meeting of 2021.

Among the decisions, the SMC recommended NHS use of Janssen’s Darzalex (daratumumab) in combination with bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone (VTd) for newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma patients who are eligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).

This treatment was accepted through SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process, which is used for medicines for end of life and rare conditions.

In the Phase III CASSIOPEIA study, patients who received Darzalex plus VTd achieved a statistically significant improvement in the stringent complete response rate (sCR) 100 days post-ASCT compared to VTd alone.

“Today’s decision is hugely welcome as it provides transplant-eligible patients in Scotland with a new option that improves on the standard of care by giving valuable extra time and redefines treatment for those newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma” said Amanda Cunnington, director of Health Economics, Market Access, Reimbursement (HEMAR) & Advocacy, Janssen-Cilag Limited.

SMC also accepted Rozlytrek (entrectinib) through PACE, for the treatment of adults with ROS1 gene fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In a statement, the SMC said that patients who respond to Rozlytrek treatment may experience reduced symptoms with increased quality and duration of life.

Grifols’ chronic immune thrombocytopenia treatment Tavlesse (fostamatinib) was also acdepted through the PACE process. This long-term blood disorder is characterised by the immune system destroying healthy platelets in the blood.

“Tavlesse offers a new treatment option for some patients who cannot use or who have not responded to current treatment options,” commented the SMC.

Also accepted for NHS use was Takeda’s Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for the treatment of systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (sALCL). It is used in combination with multi-agent chemotherapy known as CHP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone).

“Being diagnosed with sALCL can have a significant impact on the quality of life of patients and their family or friends. The disease and the current treatment options can have a physical as well as a psychological impact,” said Stephen Scowcroft, director of Operations and External Affairs, Lymphoma Action.

“We are really pleased that newly diagnosed patients can now have access to an effective treatment, that can improve their quality of life and outcomes,” he added.

In addition, the committee accepted Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) for the treatment of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, a rare form of inflammatory arthritis.

Finally, the SMC was unable to accept Slentyo (melatonin) for the treatment of insomnia in children  with autism spectrum disorder and/or Smith-Magenis syndrome.