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NICE opts to reject Celgene's Revlimid for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma after an autologous stem cell transplant

Published on 11/09/20 at 12:18pm

It has emerged that NICE has opted to reject Celgene’s Revlimid (lenalidomide) for the maintenance of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma in adult patients who have received an autologous stem cell transplant on the NHS in England and Wales.

While clinical data indicated that Revlimid successfully extended progression-free survival and overall survival, NICE pointed out that treatments that patients were given after initially receiving Celgene’s therapy did not match up to standard NHS England practice, complicating any estimates over the benefit it could provide patients.

Additionally, NICE could not confirm claims by Celgene over the duration of benefit that patients continued to experience after they stopped treatment. Because of these reasons, the drug watchdog could not accurately determine whether the treatment would be a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

The ruling is particularly disappointing for patients as there is currently no NHS-approved maintenance treatment in this indication, with treatment only provided when the condition returns after initial treatment. There are around 5,800 new diagnoses of myeloma each year in the UK.

Revlimid has already received recommendation from NICE in the treatment of myeloma that has returned, when used in combination with dexamethasone, but this new recommendation would have allowed patients to receive the drug earlier while maintaining better quality of life.

Celgene has confirmed it is working with NICE to resolve these concerns in order to make the treatment available through the NHS in future. 

Matt Fellows

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