NICE rejects Farydak for multiple myeloma

pharmafile | September 16, 2015 | News story | Sales and Marketing Farydak, NICE, Novartis, multiple myeloma, panobinostat 

NICE has rejected Novartis Farydak in its draft guidance, ruling it out as a treatment for multiple myeloma. 

Farydak (panobinostat) is the first in its class of anti-cancer agents approved for patients with multiple myeloma. It was recently approved for use in Europe, but NICE has not recommended it for patients who have had at least two previous treatments in its appraisal consultation document.  

In England several companies have seen access to their multiple myeloma treatments, and other cancer drugs, blocked. Recently NHS England announced it would cease funding for Revlimid (lenalidomide) and Imnovid (pomalidomide), meaning that patients with multiple myeloma will not have access to these treatments from November 4th. The decisions means, if this draft recommendation is carried forward, patients with multiply myeloma will be unable to access multiple licensed therapies if they fail to respond to standard-of-care therapies. 

A Novartis spokesperson said the Swiss firm remains hopeful that the decision could be reversed, after NICE made “constructive comments which indicate an open-minded view.” 

In a statement the company says: “Novartis is disappointed to learn that the ACD proposes not to recommend farydak in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for treating multiple myeloma in line with its marketing authorisation for adult patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior regimens including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD). 

“These changes to the CDF alongside this current negative NICE ACD position for Farydak represent both a major setback to more than 4,000 patients who are diagnosed with multiple myeloma every year in England and Wales. With nearly half of multiple myeloma patients currently not expected to survive past five years, this is a wholly unacceptable situation that is indicative of the wider issues surrounding the assessment of, and access to, cancer medicines in England.” 

Yasmita Kumar

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