May 2023 decisions news release

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises on newly-licensed medicines for use by NHSScotland, has today (Tuesday 09 May) published advice on five medicines.

Empagliflozin (Jardiance®) was accepted for the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure. Empagliflozin has already been accepted for use in patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, which happens when the muscle of the left ventricle is not pumping normally. This advice extends the use of empagliflozin to patients who have symptoms of heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction. This happens when the heart pumps normally but is too stiff to fill properly.

Rimegepant (Vydura®) was accepted for the acute treatment of migraine. However the committee was unable to accept rimegepant (Vydura®) for use in the prevention of migraine due to clinical and cost effectiveness uncertainties in comparison with other available preventative treatments.

The committee was unable to accept tafasitamab (Minjuvi®) for the treatment of a type of lymphoma, in patients who are not suitable for stem cell transplant, as there were uncertainties in the clinical and cost effectiveness when compared to the treatments currently used.

It was also unable to accept icosapent ethyl (Vazkepa®), as a treatment to reduce the risk of stroke or cardiovascular damage in patients who are on statins and have raised triglycerides (a type of blood fat), as there was also uncertainty around its cost effectiveness in relation to its health benefits.

SMC Chair, Dr Scott Muir, said: “We are very pleased to be able to accept empagliflozin for chronic heart failure. This is a debilitating condition where the effects of fatigue, coughing, wheezing and reduced appetite can have a wide reaching impact on a person’s day to day activities. Empagliflozin offers another treatment option for this condition.

“The evidence for the medicines we were unable to accept was not strong enough to satisfy the committee. The comparison with current treatments used in NHSScotland was associated with uncertainty that they would offer value for money.

“We would welcome resubmissions for these therapeutics once the companies have had an opportunity to address the uncertainties highlighted by the committee.”

Back to latest updates