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Double Approval from SMC Increases NHS Treatment Options in Scotland

Other News // 12th October 2020

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) have today approved two new treatment options for myeloma patients based in Scotland.

The new treatments accepted for use within NHS Scotland are:

Myeloma UK ensured that patients’ voices were central to the discussion heard by SMC by submitting evidence and taking part in the Patient and Clinician Engagement meeting (PACE) where, together with expert myeloma clinicians, we were able to explain what access to these treatments really means for patients, covering issues that might not be fully captured in clinical and economic data.

You can find more information on both medicines in our treatment guides on lenalidomide  and carfilzomib .

Laura Kerby, Chief Executive of Myeloma UK said:

“This is terrific news for patients in Scotland and we are pleased that there are two new options for treatment of myeloma accepted for use within NHS Scotland.

The life extending benefits of both treatments have been explored extensively through clinical trials and we are delighted that they have been made available to patients in Scotland.

I would like to thank everyone who took part in our Patient Treatment survey on lenalidomide which has been incredibly helpful in representing patient experience for this treatment.

We will continue to work with both of the companies and NICE to get these treatments approved for patients in the rest of the UK.”

In announcing the approvals, the SMC confirmed that, because myeloma is a rare condition, they had been more flexible in making their decision.

Both the manufacturers of lenalidomide (Celgene BMS) and carfilzomib (Amgen), applied a confidential discount to the cost of the medicine which made it more cost-effective.

What does these approvals mean for patients in Scotland?

  • Lenalidomide maintenance

Newly diagnosed myeloma patients in Scotland who are eligible for HDT-SCT can now receive lenalidomide maintenance after their stem cell transplant. Lenalidomide maintenance will only be available to newly diagnosed patients directly after recovery from HDT-SCT. It will not be available to patients who received HDT-SCT a considerable time ago and have completed their first line of treatment. This is because the effectiveness and safety of lenalidomide maintenance has only been assessed immediately following HDT-SCT.

Evidence from clinical trials, including Myeloma XI, shows that lenalidomide maintenance increases remission time and overall survival.

  • Carfilzomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone

This carfilzomib combination has been approved for patients who have received one prior treatment only. This means that it will only be available to patients after their first relapse.

The clinical benefits of this treatment were explored in a clinical trial called ASPIRE which showed an increase of remission time and overall survival for myeloma patients.

This approval will increase the treatment options for myeloma patients in Scotland who have relapsed after receiving one prior treatment.

What about patients based in the rest of the UK?

Both treatments are currently going through the appraisal process with the National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE).

Both have received a draft ‘no’ from NICE but could still be approved for use through the NHS. You can read more about these decisions on our website for lenalidomide and carfilzomib.

Myeloma UK continues to work with Celgene BMS, Amgen, NICE and other key stakeholders to make a case for both treatments approval for patients based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Further information

If you have any questions or comments on the decision please email policy@myeloma.org.uk or call the Myeloma Infoline on 0800 980 3332 during office hours, Monday to Friday.