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Scottish Medicines Consortium approves new drugs in multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis and diabetes

Published on 15/04/20 at 12:26pm

Medical regulation must still continue even in a global pandemic, and the Scottish Medicines Consortium, (SMC) has ploughed on with the authorisation of four key therapies for NHS patients in Scotland.

Janssen’s Stelara (ustekinumab) was among the approved products, authorised for moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis in patients for which conventional therapies or biologics are unsuitable. It’s estimated that around 23,500 people in Scotland live with some form of the condition. The SMC has previously approved Stelara in plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease

Biogen’s Fampyra (fampridine) also secured authorisation for the improvement of walking in adult multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with walking disability. The availability of the drug helps tackle an unmet need, as there are currently no approved treatments for MS patients who experience difficulty walking. 

Also approved was Sanofi’s Suliqua (insulin glargine/lixisenatide), authorised as an additional treatment option to control blood glucose levels, when combined with metformin, in type 2 diabetes patients who have not been able to bring their levels under control with metformin and insulin alone.

And finally, Sandoz’s Rimzoic (naldemedine) was approved to treat constipation brought on by the use of opioid painkillers, a very common and difficult to treat side-effect of such medications, providing an alternative option to laxatives.

Matt Fellows

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