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NHS England

NICE recommends new triple therapy for multiple myeloma patients

A new second line triple therapy is to be offered to NHS patients in England with multiple myeloma, following a NICE recommendation announced today.

The triple therapy, using carfilzomib with dexamethasone and lenalidomide, could be offered to around 2,000 patients with multiple myeloma who have had at least one previous therapy, including bortezomib.

Evidence from clinical trials shows the triple therapy produces longer periods of remission and life span, compared with the current second line treatment, lenalidomide and dexamethasone.

Two-thirds of Britons with common life-threatening conditions have been denied care during pandemic

Photo by Francis Tyers

Nearly two-thirds of people in Britain have been denied care for common life-threatening conditions by the NHS, due to their resources being focused on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the most notable patient groups suffering from a lack of treatment are diabetics, with 7 out of 10 having their care cancelled. 65% of those with high blood pressure and 64% of people suffering from breathing problems have also had their care cancelled.

NHS England to supply HIV prevention drug PrEP with £16m government investment

Image Credit: Doctor 4U

NHS England is set to fund the availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the prevention of HIV for local authorities across the country from April, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has revealed.

The drive comprises an investment of £16 million to local authorities, including sexual health clinics, throughout 2020 and 2021. The preventative measure will be made available to “anyone who is at a high risk of contracting HIV” and follows the UK Government’s commitment in 2019 to end HIV transmission by 2030.

Austerity policies blamed as English life expectancy stalls for first time in a century

A landmark report has shown that English life expectancy has stalled for the first time in a century, and reversed for the poorest women in society.

The review was conducted by Sir Michael Marmot who had warned a decade ago that growing inequality in society would lead to worse health across the country. Marmot believes it could have been avoided and austerity policies facilitated this stalling and decline in life expectancy.

NICE gives initial ‘no’ to NHS England for kidney cancer drug

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has not recommended Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Inlyta (axitinib) for the treatment of advanced renal cell cancer.

Keytruda is an immunotherapy treatment that works by blocking a protein called PD-1 on the surface of certain immune cells called T cells, triggering the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. It would be used in combination with Inlyta, which is already used to treat people with advanced kidney cancer whose cancer has continued to progress after initial treatment.

Prostate Cancer becomes most commonly diagnosed cancer in England

Prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer for the first time in England, latest figures show.

In 2018, there were nearly 8,000 more cases than in 2017. Overall there were 316,680 cancers diagnosed in 2018, with prostate being the most common type with 49,029 cases, with breast cancer close behind with 47,476 cases.

HIV infections fall by 73% in bi and gay British men

Public Health England has released figures that show that HIV rates in bi and gay men have fallen by 73% since 2014 in the UK.

This has largely been attributed to the rise in the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep). It is a pill that is taken daily, or prior to sex, to prevent HIV infection. If taken consistently it protects cells in the body and disables the virus to stop it multiplying, so it won’t spread even if a condom isn’t used during sex.

NHS to pioneer Novartis injection that reduces cholesterol

The NHS in England is pioneering a new twice-a-year injection, inclisiran, which reduces bad cholesterol.

It has reached a deal with Novartis, which has agreed to provide inclisiran injections free in exchange for data from the five-year trial, which will be carried out by NHS staff. Once the drug is approved and has gone through a cost-effectiveness evaluation by NICE, expected in 2021, the drug's price will have to be negotiated with the company.

NHS England agree to pay for Biogen's $750,000 a year SMA treatment Spinraza

NHS England has agreed to pay an undisclosed price for Biogen’s spinal muscle atrophy (SMA) treatment Spinraza.

England’s National Health Service said it had reached a ‘managed access agreement’ under which it will fund the treatment for a limited period of time, while collecting data on the drug’s effectiveness.

Spinraza, which is administered every four months via spinal injections, has a US list price of $750,000 for the first year and $375,000 for every year after.

NHS England threatened legal action against Oxford University hospitals trust

NHS England threatened to sue Oxford University hospitals (OUH) NHS trust after they objected to the former’s controversial decision to allow a private company to take control of cancer scanning.

DAC Beachcroft, NHS England’s lawyers, issued a warning against OUH in saying the trust’s concerns amounted to defamation.

As reported by The Guardian the relationship between NHS England and OUH became strained after NHS England chose to hand the contract for PET-CT scanning services to private company InHealth.

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