BY: SELINA MCKEE
The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved seven new medicines for use on NHS Scotland, including the first biologic treatment for ulcerative colitis, which affects around 12,400 people across the country.
The SMC has waved through Takeda’s Entyvio for (vedolizumab) as the first gut-selective treatment for adults with moderately- to severely-active forms of the condition.
The watchdog concluded that Entyvio is not only cost effective but also represents a therapeutic advance because of its unique mode of action, which suppresses immune activity only in gut, as opposed to across the whole body, and thus is widely regarded a step change in the management of the condition.
Elsewhere, two new blood cancer medicines have made it in: Novartis’ Arzerra (ofatumumab) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in previously untreated patients who cannot receive fludarabine-based therapy; and Gilead’s first-in-class Zydelig (idelalisib) for patients with follicular lymphoma who have not responded to two previous courses of treatment. Both were considered under the SMC’s PACE (Patient and Clinician Engagement) process, which aims to improve patient access to new medicines for the treatment of end of life and very rare conditions.
Also winning the SMC’s favour were: Allergan’s eye implant Ozurdex (dexamethasone) for diabetic macular oedema; Dr Falk Pharma’s corticosteroid Budenofalk (budesonide) for the treatment of autoimmune hepatitis in patients who do not have severe liver disease, restricted to use in patients who cannot tolerate prednisolone or are more susceptible to its side effects; and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza (liraglutide) and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Trajenta (linagliptin) to treat type II diabetes, when given in combination with insulin.
On the downside, Swedish Orphan’s Xiapex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) was turned down for the treatment of adult men with Peyronie’s disease, as was Novo Nordisk’s Tresiba (insulin degludec) for diabetes, in the absence of submissions to the SMC.