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SMC approves new treatment for myeloma patients in Scotland

Patient advocacy news // 18th January 2021

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

The combination of daratumumab (Darzalex®), bortezomib (Velcade®), thalidomide and dexamethasone will now be available as an induction treatment for patients receiving high-dose therapy and stem cell transplantation (HDT-SCT).

This is the first quadruplet combination treatment approved for myeloma patients in the UK.

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). Together with expert myeloma clinicians, we were able to explain what access to this treatment really means for patients.

Laura Kerby, Chief Executive of Myeloma UK said:

“Trial data has shown that this combination can deliver deeper responses and longer remissions for patients, so we are delighted that it has been approved for HDT-SCT eligible patients in Scotland.

It is also the first time a quadruplet treatment combination for myeloma has been approved in the UK which is a significant milestone.

We would like to say a big thank you to the patients who took the time to tell us about their treatment experience to inform our evidence to the SMC, helping us make sure that the patient voice is heard.

We will continue to work with Janssen and NICE to get this treatment approved for patients in the whole of the UK.”

Data from the CASSIOPEIA clinical trial has shown that adding daratumumab to the current induction treatment of bortezomib, thalidomide and dexamethasone, given prior to HDT-SCT, improves the response to treatment and extends remission (the length of time following treatment before the myeloma starts to come back).

In announcing the approval, the SMC confirmed that, because myeloma is a rare condition, they had been more flexible in making their decision. Janssen, the manufacturers of daratumumab, also applied a confidential discount to the cost of the medicine which made it more cost-effective.  You can read more about the SMC’s decision here.

What about patients based in the rest of the UK?

This quadruplet combination is currently being appraised by the National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE) for patients based in England and Wales.

Myeloma UK have submitted evidence to NICE for this appraisal and the committee meeting will take place in March 2021.

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.