Current Edition

Four medicines accepted for use by NHS Scotland

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved NHS funding for four new medicines, including treatments for multiple myeloma and severe migraine in its April 2020 decisions.
Firstly, Sanofi’s Sarclisa (isatuximab) has been accepted by the SMC for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, in combination with two other medicines – pomalidomide and dexamethasone.
This treatment was accepted following consideration through the SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process, which is used for medicines for end of life and rare conditions.
Another medication developed by Sanofi – Dupixent (dupilumab) – was also accepted for use on NHS Scotland, for the treatment of a subgroup of patients with severe asthma.
Dupixent will be offered as an option for patients with severe asthma who do not fully respond to standard treatment and require more intensive therapies, such as oral corticosteroids, to control their symptoms.
“This is a very positive day for people living with severe asthma and those with multiple myeloma; as these decisions by the SMC provide access to two new treatments which have been shown to improve patient lives,” said Nicole Farmer, general manager, UK & Ireland, Sanofi Genzyme.
“Severe asthma can be debilitating, so access to dupilumab means that people with this condition may have greater hope of staying out of hospital and continuing to live their lives. For people living with multiple myeloma who have run out of options, isatuximab may offer them precious additional time without their disease progressing to spend with their loved ones,” she added.
AstraZeneca’s SGLT2 inhibitor Forxiga  (dapagliflozin) was also accepted for use on NHS Scotland for the treatment of heart failure in patients with reduced ejection fraction as an add-on to already optimised standard care.
Finally, Eli Lilly’s Emgality (galcanezumab) was accepted for the prevention of migraine in adults who have at least four migraine days per month.
The SMC also published an initial assessment report for PTC Therapeutics’ Translarna (ataluren), a treatment for the genetic disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Translarna was assessed through the SMC’s ultra-orphan pathway, which is used to consider medicines for very rare conditions.
This medicine can be used to treat patients whose disease is caused by the specific genetic defect known as a nonsense mutation in the dystrophin gene.
PTC Therapeutics is required to provide a plan detailing how further data on the effects of the medicine will be collected, with Translarna set to be available through NHS Scotland for three years while this information is gathered.
The SMC will then review the evidence and make a decision on routine availability of the drug via NHS Scotland.