The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises NHSScotland on newly licensed medicines, has published advice accepting three new medicines.

The SMC Committee accepted the following drugs:

  • Llutetium oxotretide (Lutathera) for the treatment of rare tumours that develop in the gut or pancreas. Lutetium oxotretide is a type of cancer medicine called a radiopharmaceutical (a medicine that emits a small amount of radioactivity). Through SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (PACE) process for medicines used to treat very rare and end of life conditions, patients and clinicians described the debilitating symptoms of this condition which have a negative impact on patients’ day to day lives. Lutathera offers a considerable delay in progression of the disease, improved quality of life and an extended period of overall survival.
  • Tivozanib (Fotivda) was accepted for the treatment of advanced renal cancer. Through PACE, patients and clinicians highlighted the limited range of therapies currently available for advanced disease. Tivozanib provides an additional initial treatment option. It has a different side effect profile which may allow an improved quality of life for some patients.

Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following consideration through the PACE process. Evidence from PACE participants described how this incurable disease can have a significant impact on the daily lives of patients and their families. Atezolizumab offers another treatment option for NSCLC and has the advantage of requiring less frequent administration compared to some alternatives.

The committee was unable to accept ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, where the patient has flare-ups (relapses) followed by periods with milder or no symptoms. This was because the evidence provided by the company about the cost effectiveness of the medicine when compared to other currently available treatments was not strong enough to justify accepting it for use by NHSScotland.

SMC Co-Vice Chair Dr Mike McMahon said: “I am pleased we were able to accept these three medicines for use by NHSScotland.

“Through the evidence given by PACE participants, we know that our decision on lutetium oxotretide will be welcomed, particularly as it can help improve patients’ quality of life and slow disease progression.

“Tivozanib offers a valuable additional treatment option for those with advanced renal cancer, as it has a different side effect profile which will be helpful to patients and clinicians alike.

“For those with non-small cell lung cancer, atezolizumab increases the range of immunotherapies available to treat this condition.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to accept ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) for relapsing multiple sclerosis, as the evidence provided by the company on the economic benefits of using this medicine was not strong enough.”