The Scottish Medicines Consortium has published advice accepting three new medicines for routine use by NHS Scotland:

  • Keytruda (embrolizumab) for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was accepted following consideration through SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process, for medicines used at the end of life and for very rare conditions
  • Opdivo (nivolumab) for Hodgkin lymphoma was also accepted through PACE. Nivolumab is used to treat patients for whom all other treatment options have been exhausted
  • Stelara (ustekinumab) was accepted for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease, meaning there is now another treatment option for those patients who do not respond to or are unable to tolerate current treatments.

The committee was unable to accept Uptravi (selexipag) for pulmonary arterial hypertension after consideration through PACE. While patient groups and clinicians presented a strong case for the medicine, the committee was unable to recommend selexipag as the company’s evidence on the clinical and economic benefits of the medicine when compared to current treatment options was not robust enough.

Dr Alan MacDonald, chairman of the SMC, said: “We are pleased to be able to accept these three new medicines for routine use by NHS Scotland.

“Through PACE the committee heard how pembrolizumab can give patients meaningful extra time with their families, which we know will be welcomed.

“Nivolumab will be a valuable new treatment option for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, particularly as it may help some towards a transplant which may be curative.

“For patients with Crohn’s Disease whose condition remains uncontrolled on current treatments, ustekinumab offers a helpful alternative.

“Unfortunately we were unable to accept selexipag for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. While a good case was presented through PACE and the committee applied as much flexibility as possible when considering the medicine, the evidence presented by the company on the clinical and economic benefits of selexipag compared to other treatments available was not sufficient for us to accept it for routine use.”