Pharmacy News

SMC backs five new medicines for NHS use

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted five new medicines for use by NHS Scotland in its June 2021 decisions.

Firstly, the SMC accepted Servier’s oral treatment Lonsurf (trifluridine/tipiracil) to treat advanced gastric cancer patients.

In a statement, the SMC highlight that Lonsurf may offer a ‘modest’ survival benefit for patients with a poor prognosis, where otherwise their treatment options would be limited.

Kyowa Kirin’s Poteligeo (mogamulizumab) has also been accepted by the SMC for the treatment of two rare blood cell cancers – advanced mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS) – following previous treatment.

Poteligeo, the SMC highlighted, slows the progression of both MF and SS and could offer patients better tolerability and symptom control compared to alternative treatment options including chemotherapy.

Next up, the SMC accepted Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev (nintedanib) for the treatment of chronic fibrosing interstitial lung diseases (ILDs).

ILDs encompass a group of conditions with various causes, in which fibrous tissues is formed in the lungs that gets worse over time, leading to scaring and hardening of the lung tissues.

Currently, there are no treatments licensed for the condition – meaning that Ofev offers a new option for ILD patients.

“As the first licensed treatment option for non-IPF progressive fibrosing ILDs, Ofev provides patients with a treatment that can slow the decline in their lung function, allowing them to continue leading their daily lives for longer,” said Mark MacGregor, chairman of the SMC.

The SMC has also approved AstraZeneca’s Calquence (acalabrutinib) for the treatment of certain previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, an incurable and relapsing blood cancer.

In March, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also backed Calquence monotherapy for CLL if there is a 17p deletion or TP53 mutation or if fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR), or bendamustine plus rituximab (BR) is unsuitable.

Lastly, the SMC backed Eli Lilly’s Olumiant (baricitinib) for the treatment of previously treated moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. The SMC accepted the JAK inhibitor after determining that it can help improve patients’ symptoms and improve their quality of life.

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