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SMC Approves New CLL Drug – Idelalisib

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • medication

It was announced yesterday that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted idelalisib for use within NHS Scotland, within a restricted indication. Idelalisib is marketed by Gilead as Zydelig®.

Leukaemia starts in blood-forming tissue, usually the bone marrow and leads to the production of large numbers of abnormal white blood cells. White blood cells are part of the immune system, the body’s defence against infection. CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in adults, with most patients diagnosed over the age of 60. More information on CLL is available here.

The recommendation of the SMC following a full submission is that idelalisib is accepted for restricted use within NHS Scotland. It has been approved for the treatment of “patients with relapsed CLL who are unsuitable for chemotherapy and treatment naïve patients with 17p deletion or TP53 mutation who are unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy.”  The SMC advice takes account of the benefits of a Patient Access Scheme (PAS) that improves the cost-effectiveness of idelalisib and is contingent upon the continuing availability of this scheme. A copy of the SMC advice is available here.

Monica Izmajlowicz, Chief Executive of Leukaemia CARE said: “Overall this is extremely welcome news for NHS patients in Scotland with CLL, as they will soon be able to access this treatment. However, we are disappointed to see that the SMC has decided to restrict the usage of idelalisib further than its licensed indication.”

If you are affected by this change and would like to speak to somebody about it, please call our CARE line on 08088 010 444.