NHS Scotland's October 2018 Funding Decisions

Nicky Broyd

October 09, 2018

Four newly licensed medicines have been accepted for use and funding within NHS Scotland in the Scottish Medicines Consortium's (SMC) October 2018 decisions.

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) 

The SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for end of life and very rare conditions led to acceptance of gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg) as an addition to standard chemotherapy for restricted use.

SMC Chair Dr Alan MacDonald said: "We heard clearly how patients with AML have to endure significant symptoms from a condition for which there have been no new treatments for almost 30 years.

"We hope our decision on gemtuzumab ozogamicin will be of benefit to patients by allowing the opportunity for a period of significant additional time in remission, when quality of life is not reduced by disease symptoms or side-effects of chemotherapy."

Still’s Disease

The SMC accepted anakinra (Kineret) to treat Still’s disease, a rare type of inflammatory arthritis.

Dr MacDonald said: "For those with Still’s disease, anakinra is a helpful additional treatment option which may improve their quality of life."

Adrenal Insufficiency in Infants, Children, and Adolescents

The SMC accepted hydrocortisone (Alkindi) to treat adrenal insufficiency in infants, children, and adolescents.

It acknowledged that for children, current treatments can be hard to administer and adhere to, as tablets need to be crushed and have a bitter taste.

The new formulation has no taste and dosing is more accurate.

Dr MacDonald said: "The new formulation of hydrocortisone intended specifically for infants, children and adolescents with adrenal insufficiency will hopefully make treatment easier to administer and adhere to for both patients and their carers."

Psoriatic Arthritis 

The biologic ixekizumab (Taltz) was accepted for psoriatic arthritis as another option for those patients who have not responded to other therapies.

Dr MacDonald commented: "New therapies for psoriatic arthritis are always welcome and ixekizumab offers another option for those patients who have not responded to previous treatments."

Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Issues over cost effectiveness meant the SMC did not accept cabozantinib (Cabometyx) for advanced renal cell carcinoma, despite the PACE process.

"Unfortunately we were unable to accept cabozantinib (Cabometyx) for advanced renal cell carcinoma as the company’s evidence about the cost effectiveness of the medicine when compared to other treatments currently in use was not strong enough," Dr MacDonald said.

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