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NICE extends temporary changes in patient access to oral myeloma treatments

Patient advocacy news // 19th August 2020

On August 3, an extension and expansion of temporary changes to treatment access were announced by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

This announcement means that myeloma patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have greater access to oral-based treatments until the end of the year.

The announcement states:

  • Ixazomib (Ninlaro®) with lenalidomide and dexamethasone is now available as a treatment option at second-line for patients who are not refractory to proteasome inhibitors (e.g. bortezomib (Velcade®)) or lenalidomide
  • Pomalidomide (Imnovid®) and dexamethasone will continue to be available as a treatment option at second and third line for patients previously treated with lenalidomide (Revlimid®)
  • Lenalidomide and dexamethasone will continue to be available as a treatment option to newly diagnosed myeloma patients who are eligible for high-dose therapy and stem cell transplantation.

This decision by NICE to extend and expand access to oral myeloma treatments continues to give clinicians additional treatment options that reduce hospital visits and/or reduce the risk of hospital admissions due to treatment side effects.

The Scottish Government Health Department has also issued several interim changes to treatment access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to use interim treatment options lies entirely with the prescribing clinician who will discuss the benefits and risks of these treatments with eligible patients.

All patients who start on an interim treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic should be allowed to continue the treatment until they and their clinician jointly decide it is appropriate to stop or to switch to a different treatment.