April 2019 decisions news release

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises on newly licensed medicines for use by NHSScotland, has today (Monday 8 April) published advice accepting three new medicines.

Erenumab (Aimovig) was accepted for use in patients with chronic migraine, in whom the use of at least three other preventive medicines has been unsuccessful. Patient groups described how the high frequency and severity of migraine symptoms, including severe head pain, nausea and vomiting, can be extremely debilitating and have a substantial impact on day-to-day and work related activities. Erenumab can reduce the number of days patients suffer migraines and has the potential to improve quality of life. It could not be recommended for use in episodic migraine.

Lenvatinib (Lenvima) was accepted for the treatment of a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. For the small number of patients with this cancer, diagnosis often happens at an advanced stage and there is a poor prognosis. Lenvatinib provides an alternative treatment option for those patients for whom there is no option for surgery or liver transplant.

The committee also accepted certolizumab (Cimzia), for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (a disease causing red, scaly patches on the skin) in adults. Certolizumab offers another treatment option for patients who have failed to respond to standard therapies.

SMC Chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said:

“Our committee members are pleased to be able to accept these three new medicines for use by NHSScotland.”

“From the evidence provided to us by patient groups, we know that our decision on erenumab will be very welcomed by those suffering from chronic migraine who have not responded to previous treatment.”

“For patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who are unable to undergo surgery or transplant, lenvatinib offers a useful alternative to the current available treatment.”

“Our decision on certolizumab offers what will hopefully be another helpful treatment option for patients with plaque psoriasis where previous therapies have been unsuccessful.”

Back to latest updates