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New drugs approved in Scotland

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • medication

It was announced last week (11/05/15) by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) that two new blood cancer drugs have been accepted for use within NHS Scotland.

The SMC’s advice for both of these new drugs was informed by the views of patient representatives (including Leukaemia CARE) and clinical specialists, following Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) meetings, which were held to consider the added value of these drugs in the context of NHS Scotland.


The SMC has announced that following a full submission under the end of life and ultra-orphan processes, idelalisib has been accepted for use within NHS Scotland. Idelalisib is marketed by Gilead as Zydelig®.

Idelalisib has been accepted for the treatment of adult patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) that is refractory to two prior lines of treatment.

A full copy of the SMC advice is available here.


The SMC has announced that following a submission under orphan process, ofatumumab has been accepted for restricted use within NHS Scotland. Ofatumumab is marketed by Novartis as Arzerra®.

Ofatumumab is licenced by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in combination with chlorambucil or bendamustine for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who have not received prior therapy and who are not eligible for fludarabine-based therapy. The availability of ofatumumab within NHS Scotland has been restricted by the SMC for use in patients who would not be considered for bendamustine therapy and who would receive chlorambucil-based therapy.

A full copy of the SMC advice is available here.

Tony Gavin, Director of Campaigning and Advocacy at Leukaemia CARE said:

“These decisions are excellent news for both CLL and follicular lymphoma patients.

"We are pleased to see that the views and interests of patients and clinicians expressed at the PACE meeting are being taken into account in the SMC decision making process leading to improved patient access to treatment in these rare disease areas.”

If you are affected by these changes and would like to speak to somebody about it, please call our 24-hour CARE Line on 08088 010 444.