Brentuximab vedotin (manufactured by Takeda and also known as Adcetris®) has been available via the Cancer Drugs Fund since 2013. Today it has been approved by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) for routine use within the NHS.
The CDF was established in 2011 and was created as an interim measure to provide access to innovative treatments, whilst a system was designed to replace NICE. However, the new system was never implemented. In 2016 the Cancer Drugs Fund was reformed to allow patients to access innovative drugs with uncertain data, whilst further clinical data was collected. As part of this reform, NICE reviewed all drugs that were being funded by the Cancer Drugs Fund.
In their review last year (2017), NICE recommended brentuximab vedotin for the treatment of CD30 positive Hodgkin lymphoma in adults if:
- “they have relapsed or refractory disease after autologous stem cell transplant”
However, interim access through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) was recommended for the treatment of patients with:
- “relapsed or refractory disease after at least 2 previous therapies and they cannot have autologous stem cell transplant or multi-agent chemotherapy”
This decision was made to collect more evidence of the clinical benefit in adults with relapsed or refractory CD30 positive Hodgkin lymphoma. In particular, undertaking a retrospective analysis of the use of brentuximab vedotin in the NHS since 2013, to determine the proportion of patients who were subsequently able to proceed to transplant.
As a result of this data collection, brentuximab vedotin has been approved for CD30 positive Hodgkin lymphoma patients “relapsed or refractory disease after at least 2 previous therapies and they cannot have autologous stem cell transplant or multi-agent chemotherapy”.
It is the first drug to enter the ‘new CDF’ system and then be approved by NICE for routine use and hence, routine commissioning by the NHS. This is a positive decision for patients who may require brentuximab vedotin as a future treatment option and have previously faced uncertainty as to whether access would be maintained.
Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Campaigns and Advocacy Director, commented:
“We strongly welcome NICE’s recommendation of brentuximab vedotin, which will end years of uncertain access for patients in this setting. It also demonstrates the key role that collection of evidence on real world usage will play in enabling access to innovative drugs in the future. We will continue to work with NICE to gain access to these treatments for blood cancer patients.”