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Opdivo to be made available to UK melanoma patients via the Cancer Drugs Fund

Published on 30/11/18 at 12:57pm

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster immunotherapy Opdivo (nivolumab) is set to be made available to patients in the UK via the Cancer Drugs Fund as a treatment option for melanoma, NICE has revealed, in a U-turn on a ruling made earlier this year.

Specifically, Opdivo will be reimbursed to patients with stage 3 and 4 melanoma who have lymph node involvement and who have previously undergone surgery – a group of eligible patients which NICE estimates numbers around 1,480.

The organisation also confirmed that the submitted findings suggested that there was potential for Opdivo to be a cost-effective use of resources for routine NHS use, but further clinical data would be needed on its efficacy in improving recurrence-free and overall survival. NICE did note that the data already indicates that Opdivo is superior to compared to BMS’ other immunotherapy Yervoy in the former of the two metrics.  

The drug’s availability on the CDF will help allow these data to be procured, as well as follow-up findings from the ongoing CheckMate 238 trial. There are currently no immunotherapy products recommended by NICE in this indication.

The final appraisal document is open for appeal until 14 December 2018.  

Matt Fellows

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