NICE recommendation for Forxiga could entitle 53,000 adults to the new kidney disease therapy

AstraZeneca today announced that Forxiga (dapagliflozin) has been accepted for restricted use within NHS Scotland by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The therapy is for the treatment of adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and will give eligible patients in Scotland access to the first new additional treatment option indicated for the condition in nearly 20 years.

AstraZeneca estimates that as many as 53,000 adults living with CKD in Scotland could be entitled to this treatment under the recommendation.

Professor Patrick Mark, Professor of nephrology and honorary consultant nephrologist at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, commented: “For people living with chronic kidney disease in Scotland and the physicians who treat them, today’s announcement will be an extremely welcome milestone.

“This decision could have a significant impact on patients’ lives, as they will now have access to a much-needed [additional] treatment option that has demonstrated its ability to slow kidney decline, reduce their risk for hospitalisation and delay the need for transplant or dialysis.”

Kidney disease is common in Scotland, with around 3.2% of the population living with CKD. It is a long-term condition in which the kidneys do not function as well as they should. This results in the kidneys being unable to remove waste products from the body, causing some with CKD to progress to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). An estimated 20 people in the UK progress to ESKD every day, resulting in around 40,000-45,000 deaths every year.

Dr Kevin Fernando, Scottish lead primary care at the Diabetes Society, added: “The SMC’s decision is great news for people living with CKD in Scotland, who have waited many years to see improvements in treatment in this disease setting. It will also mark a much-needed treatment shift for the management of chronic kidney disease in primary care, particularly in people living with this condition who also have type 2 diabetes. I am pleased to see the SMC is making positive steps to bring practice in line with the latest research, enabling eligible patients to access a new and effective treatment option.”