The Scottish Medicines Consortium has presented its latest recommendations which reveal backing for Novartis/ThromboGenics’ eye therapy Jetrea and Roche’s RoActemra and rejections for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease offerings from Boehringer Ingelheim and GlaxoSmithKline.

First up, the cost regulator has endorsed Jetrea (ocriplasmin) for vitreomacular traction, a sight-threatening condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The drug, licensed to Novartis’ Alcon unit from ThromboGenics for outside the USA, is already available on the NHS in England and is delivered as a single injection.

The SMC has also backed a subcutaneous formulation of Roche’s RoActemra (tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis. The convenience of self-administration compared with the existing intravenous formulation played a part in the decision as did cost savings, thanks to a patient access scheme proposed by Roche.

However the SMC has issued negative guidance on BI’s Striverdi (olodaterol) for COPD, saying there were “uncertainties in the clinical evidence and weaknesses in the analysis”. GSK’s Anoro (umeclidinium bromide/vilanterol) was also turned down and the SMC noted that while the drug offers cost savings, “there was some uncertainty around the appropriateness of the comparators” used in clinical studies. GSK has said it plans to resubmit.

Also rejected by the Consortium were Sucampo's Amitiza (lubiprostone) for chronic idiopathic constipation, Mitsubishi Pharma's BindRen (colestilan) for the treatment of hyperphosphataemia and Abbott’s Hidrasec (racecadotril) for acute diarrhoea.