The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted three new medicines for use by NHS Scotland and rejected one in its July 2021 decisions.
Among those recommended by the SMC is Roche’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab), which has been accepted for the treatment of adult patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab).
In a statement, the SMC said Tecentriq plus Avastin may be better tolerated by patients, compared with currently available treatments. Patients who respond to Tecentriq treatment may also live longer than those receiving current treatments, the SMC added.
Next, the SMC accepted Novartis’ Kesimpta (ofatumumab) for the treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with active disease defined by clinical or imaging features.
According to Novartis, Scotland has the highest average prevalence rate of MS in the UK, with approximately 15,750 people estimated to be living with the disease.
The SMC acknowledged that Kesimpta offers a new treatment option for these patients and also has the reduce relapse rates while slowing disease progression and improve quality of life.
Also, as Kesimpta is offered as a monthly self-injection, the SMC added that the treatment may minimise the treatment burden for RRMS patients and reduce regular hospital visits.
Finally, the SMC accepted Daiichi Sankyou’s Nilemdo (bempedoic acid) for use in certain patients with high levels of fat in the blood, including cholesterol.
Nilemdo is used – in combination with ezetimibe – for the treatment of patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia.
It can be offered to patients when ezetimibe alone is unable to lower cholesterol adequately and when no other treatments are available.
The SMC also announced that it was unable to accept Pfizer’s Vyndaqel (tafamidis) for the treatment of the rare heart condition transthyretin amyloidosis.
The SMC said it was unable to accept Vyndaqel as the evidence provided by Pfizer was ‘not strong enough’ to satisfy the committee that the treatment offers value for money to NHS Scotland.