The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended use of Roche's Perjeta (pertuzumab) on the NHS.

The drug, already approved by NICE, will be made available to HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients, also known as stage IV or secondary breast cancer.

As many as 983 patients a year in Scotland could be eligible to receive Perjeta in the metastatic setting, licensed for use in combination with Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Taxotere (docetaxel) in adults.

Final data from a key secondary endpoint of the CLEOPATRA trial showed that Perjeta extended the lives of patients by 15.7 months, compared to the control group, in a study involving 808 patients with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

The therapy targets the HER2 receptor, a protein found on the outside of many normal cells and in high quantities on the outside of cancer cells in HER2-positive cancers.

Dr Iain Macpherson, consultant medical oncologist at The Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow, said of the development: “Currently in Scotland, we treat HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer with trastuzumab and chemotherapy. The addition of Perjeta has been shown to increase the survival of these patients by 15.7 months on average compared to our current standard of care. The decision is great news for Scottish patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and could mean valuable additional time to spend with their friends and family.”

Medicines for psoriatic arthritis and diabetes have also been accepted for use by NHS Scotland.

Pfizer's Xeljanz (tofacitinib) was recommended for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, a painful and debilitating condition which causes red scaly patches on the skin and inflammation of the joints.

MSD's Steglatro (ertugliflozin) was accepted for the treatment of type II diabetes as part of a package of treatment which includes diet and exercise to improve glycaemic control.

Novo Nordisk's Ozempic (semaglutide) was also endorsed for the treatment of type II diabetes alongside a diet and exercise regime.

On the downside, Teva UK's arsenic trioxide for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), a very unusual form of leukaemia (cancer of the white blood cells) was not recommended, "as there was too much uncertainty in the evidence submitted by the company about the benefits the medicine may bring".