Cost regulators have made what seems to be a significant U-turn over Takeda’s Adcetris, with the likelihood that it will be possible for Hodgkin lymphoma to gain routines NHS access to the drug.
Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) has already been cleared in Europe to treat CD30-positive Hodgkin’s.
But Nice had rejected the drug due to cost-effectiveness concerns.
The healthcare body also cited what it considered to be uncertainties in evidence related to the drug.
Yet Nice has now reversed its initial decision, publishing a final appraisal determination recommending long-term funding for the substance.
This comes with the proviso that Takeda must continue to provide the drug at a price agreed with NHS England, as drawn up in a commercial access document.
Takeda has already responded to the ruling indicating that it “will do everything in its power to ensure the NICE re-appraisal of this indication, after the data collection period, leads to full approval and provides the security of long-term funding”.
However, the manufacturer also stated that it is disappointed that the third patient population reviewed by NICE had not been recommended.
“This is a group of patients that can have a poor outlook and limited treatment options, and this decision will prevent guaranteed access to an evidence-based medicine that could offer them a significantly improved chance of a long term remission,” Takeda noted in a statement.
Jonathan Pearce, chief executive of the Lymphoma Association, believes that the U-turn by Nice is excellent news those suffering with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“This will be a great relief to many Hodgkin lymphoma patients and their families who would otherwise face no or limited treatment options,” Pearce commented.
But the Chief Executive of the Lymphoma Association is also concerned that the delay in approving the drug by Nice is indicative of official policy.
“It is frustrating that given the potential impact brentuximab can have on patient outcomes and long-term survival, it has been frustrating how long it has taken for a recommendation to be agreed between NICE and the manufacturing company,” Pearce observed.
Pearce concluded by asserting that Nice should act more swiftly in the future to benefit lymphoma sufferers and their families.
“Too many families have had to live unnecessarily with uncertainty and anxiety during this time. Unfortunately, this will continue for some families while the treatment for use in pre stem cell transplant patients is further assessed through the CDF. We can only hope that all those involved will work together to expedite the final decision on access to brentuximab for other indications.”