SMC accepts promising new therapy which offers a better quality of life to patients with epilepsy

Around 55,000 people in Scotland are currently living with epilepsy. Significant treatment needs remain for those suffering from the treatment-resistant disease.

New hope, however, has been offered to adults in Scotland with uncontrolled focal epilepsy, as the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has acceptedOntozry(cenobamate) for adults with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Angelini Pharma’s cenobamate is an oral anti-seizure medicine (ASM), now available for use within NHS Scotland for eligible adults as a second-line adjunctive ASM, after the failure of the first adjunctive ASM.

The decision follows the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendation for cenobamate. In the UK, only 52% of people with epilepsy are seizure-free and those with poorly controlled seizures are more likely to experience comorbidities, social stigmatisation and poor quality of life.

“I welcome today’s decision on the use of cenobamate for some patients with resistant epilepsy,” commented John Paul Leach, Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Glasgow School of Medicine. “It marks an important step forward in epilepsy care in Scotland, giving physicians a new treatment option to help the one-third of patients who have epilepsies resistant to current anti-seizure medications. Clinical studies have shown that in some patients cenobamate can significantly reduce the frequency of focal-onset seizures offering them the potential for an improved quality of life.”

Epilepsy is defined as the tendency to have seizures which start in the brain. In clinical trial data published in The Lancet Neurology, drug-resistant focal-onset seizures were reduced by at least 50% in over half of patients, when adding cenobamate–200mg per day–to their daily treatment of one to three anti-seizure medications.

“This is welcome news for people living with uncontrolled epilepsy in Scotland, whose lives are often debilitated by frequent seizures,” added Rona Johnson, policy and communications manager at Epilepsy Scotland. “This decision means that eligible people with epilepsy in Scotland will now have access to a new treatment option that could significantly reduce the frequency of seizures for some, giving them the potential of improved quality of life.”