NHS Scotland's January 2020 Funding Decisions

Nicky Broyd

February 18, 2019

Treatments for prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lymphoma have been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

Prostate Cancer

Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga, Janssen-Cilag), in combination with androgen deprivation therapy, was approved to treat newly-diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer. This came after referral to the Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) scheme for rare and end of life conditions.

In a statement, SMC Chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said: "Through our PACE process, we heard how the symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer get worse as the disease progresses, placing a heavy burden on patients and carers who are already dealing with the knowledge that the condition is life limiting. Our decision on abiraterone acetate means there is now a further treatment option for patients and an alternative to early chemotherapy, which can help extend the amount of high quality time patients have."

Multiple Sclerosis

Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus, Roche) was approved through PACE as the first treatment for early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).

Dr MacDonald said: "Participants in our PACE meeting for ocrelizumab told us that there are currently no treatments for those with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Our decision on this medicine provides a treatment option that can delay the progression of disability, and we know it will be welcomed."

T-cell Lymphoma (CTCL)

Brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris, Takeda) was approved to treat advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Dr MacDonald said: "Brentuximab vedotin offers a valuable treatment option for patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have had a limited response to other treatments, and for some may act as a bridge to potentially curative stem cell transplant."


Fremanezumab (Ajovy, Teva) was approved to help prevent migraine in adults who have at least 4 migraine days per month, and where previous treatments have not worked.

Dr MacDonald said: "From the evidence provided to us by patient groups, we know that our decision on fremanezumab will be welcomed by those suffering from migraine who have not responded to previous treatments."


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: