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Myeloma UK takes part in NICE appraisal of new treatment for relapsed myeloma

Patient advocacy news // 13th May 2020

Myeloma UK today took part in a meeting on whether to approve a new treatment for relapsed myeloma for use on the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE) are continuing appraisals during the COVID-19 pandemic as new cancer treatments are classified as “therapeutically critical” topics.

Isatuximab (Sarclisa®), pomalidomide (Imnovid®) and dexamethasone is a new treatment combination for treating relapsed and refractory myeloma in patients who have received three previous lines of therapies including lenalidomide (Revlimid®) and a proteasome inhibitor, such as bortezomib (Velcade®) and whose myeloma is progressing.

Head of Patient Advocacy, Shelagh McKinlay, took part in the meeting via video conference alongside myeloma patient Alan Chant, who is also a member of the Myeloma UK Board.

This appraisal is the first of a number of new myeloma treatments being brought to NICE this year. For more information, the Myeloma UK Patient Advocacy Team detailed the potential new myeloma treatments in 2020. 

Head of Patient Advocacy Shelagh McKinlay

“We are pleased that NICE are continuing appraisals for new myeloma treatments during this difficult period. It is vital that myeloma patients continue to get access to the most effective new treatments.

If this new treatment were approved, then it will mean that there will be a new combination treatment for patients who are at their fourth line of treatment.

We will continue to do all we can to press for the best new treatments to be made available to myeloma patients throughout the UK.

It is so important that drug approval bodies hear first-hand about what it is like to live with myeloma and so we always partner with myeloma patients in presenting evidence at NICE committee meetings. We are very grateful to Alan for agreeing to work with us on this appraisal.”

Nominated Patient Expert Alan Chant

“Patients at this stage of their myeloma need the reassurance that they will receive the very best drugs available, as it is a particularly worrying time for patients, carers and their families in their myeloma journey.

Trials to date have suggested that this proposed treatment has the advantage of better response rates, gains in progression-free survival and an indication of longer survival times compared with some other combinations of drugs.

I welcome the opportunity to communicate the patient view to the NICE panel and look forward to hearing their decision.”

Isatuximab (Sarclisa®), produced by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi, belongs to a group of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, which work in an innovative way by harnessing the body’s own immune system. You can read more in our Isatuximab Horizons Infosheet here. 

A decision on whether the treatment will be made available to patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published in due course. NICE may want to meet again to discuss the appraisal at it is not possible to give a precise timescale for the decision at the moment.

We expect this treatment to also be appraised by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for its approval through NHS Scotland. Unfortunately due to the ongoing situation the SMC has suspended its appraisal programme and we are unable to give an exact timescale on appraisals in Scotland.

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.