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NICE recommends Amgen's Blincyto in rare acute lymphoblastic leukaemia sub-population

Published on 19/06/19 at 11:20am

Patients on the NHS in England and Wales will now be able to access Amgen’s Blincyto (blinatumomab) after NICE reveals it has chosen to recommend the drug for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in patients in first complete remission with minimal residual disease (MRD) activity of at least 0.1%.

The UK watchdog deemed the drug to be a cost-effective use of the health service’s resources on the basis of recently revealed data which illustrated that Blincyto demonstrated a median overall survival of 36.5 months in this indication, with over half of patients who achieved a complete MRD response surviving five years after initial treatment. The list price of the drug stands at £2,017 per 38.5mgs, with the average price per treatment cycle coming to £56,476.

ALL is characterised by the overproduction of lymphocytes in the body’s bone marrow, but the indication covered in this latest recommendation is particularly rare; it is expected that just 102 people in England and Wales will be eligible for treatment with the drug per year. Current treatment options for the condition usually begin with chemotherapy, with the possibility of stem cell transplantation, depending on the patient’s personal fitness and preference, as well as donor availability.  

Matt Fellows

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