02 July 2024

A charity has pledged to “fight back” after it emerged that the NHS in England could lose its approval to use a combination treatment for advanced myeloma.

The treatment, known as IsaPD, has been available through the Cancer Drugs Fund since 2020. It combines isatuximab, pomalidomide and dexamethasone and is offered to patients whose disease has returned three times.

Now new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says cost effectiveness estimates for the treatment are “considerably above” acceptable use of NHS resources.

Myeloma UK said it planned to appeal against the decision, arguing that it is a result of a change in the way NICE undertakes cost effectiveness evaluations.

The treatment is approved in Scotland and, under the proposals, would continue to be available to patients who have started treatment under the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Shelagh McKinlay, director of research and advocacy at Myeloma UK, said: “This decision is a huge blow and many patients will rightly feel like the rug has been pulled from under their feet. It sets a dangerous precedent, not only for people with myeloma but also for other conditions because NICE has suddenly moved the goalposts.

“IsaPD works and has significantly improved people’s quality of life and remission times since 2020. We simply should not be here; where a vital and effective treatment which has been the standard of care for years cannot be approved. The system is not delivering for patients and we mean to challenge it.

“Myeloma UK has been involved in every committee meeting about IsaPD and we believe this decision is flawed.”

Source: Myeloma UK/ NICE

Link: https://www.myeloma.org.uk/news/myeloma-uk-fights-back-after-nice-pulls-treatment/

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