October 2017 decisions news release

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

Daratumumab (Darzalex) was accepted for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the white blood cells that may result in complications including severe bone pain, kidney damage and a depleted immune system with a consequent risk of serious infection. Following consideration through SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for medicines used to treat end of life and very rare conditions, daratumumab was accepted for the treatment of patients who have received at least three prior treatment regimens. Through PACE, patient groups and clinicians highlighted that patients become resistant to treatments over time and that there are limited treatment options available at this stage. While there is currently no cure for multiple myeloma, daratumuab may provide an opportunity to improve control of the condition and disease associated symptoms.

Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa) was accepted for the treatment of specific sub-types of hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver, resulting in inflammation and significant damage. This affects the liver's ability to perform its essential functions, which include fighting infection and removing toxins from the body. Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir provides an opportunity to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus. Through a submission to SMC, patient groups highlighted that this medicine could enable patients to be treated with minimum disruption to their working and family lives.

SMC chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said:

“I am pleased the committee has been able to accept daratumumab and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir for use by NHSScotland."

“Daratumumab offers a further treatment option for those patients with multiple myeloma who have already had a number of previous treatments. Through our PACE meeting, we know this decision will be welcomed by both patients and their families."

“Eradicating hepatitis C is considered a major health issue by both Scottish Government and the World Health Organisation, so being able to accept sofosbuvir/velpatasvir for certain types of hepatitis C may help meet this key public health aim.”

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