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Scottish Medicines Consortium approves Revlimid for two groups of blood cancer patients

Published on 14/10/20 at 01:22pm
Photo by Cayetano

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted Revlimid (lenalidomide) for routine use on NHS Scotland for patients with multiple myeloma and follicular lymphoma. 

This means the drug becomes the first treatment approved on the NHS in Scotland that can potentially extend remission for adults with these types of cancers who have been recently diagnosed. 

The recommendation from the SMC gives access to patients of both cancer types. For those with follicular lymphoma, patients will be able to access Revlimid in combination with rituximab as a treatment. People with multiple myeloma will be able to access the drug as a maintenance therapy which aims to lengthen the period of remission following an autologous stem cell transplantation. 

Dr Pam McKay, Consultant Haematologist at Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said of the decision: “People with blood cancers such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma experience periods of active disease followed by periods of remission; each time the cancer relapses the quality and length of time spent in remission usually gets progressively shorter. This places a considerable emotional toll on patients and means that as clinicians we need an armoury of treatment options in order to keep the cancer at bay. 

“Today’s decision is great news for people affected by multiple myeloma and follicular lymphoma and means that patients will have greater access to treatment options on the NHS that could extend their periods of remission,” she added.

Lynelle Hoch, General Manager at Bristol Myers Squibb UK & Ireland also commented, and said: “We are delighted that today’s decision from the SMC now opens the door for a wider number of patients in the myeloma and lymphoma communities to access lenalidomide...Our focus now will be on continuing to support the blood cancer community to ensure those affected are able to live the best lives possible.”

Conor Kavanagh

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