NICE approves drug which treats EDS caused by narcolepsy 

Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Sunosi (solriamfetol) has been issued a positive Final Appraisal Document (FAD) from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), recommending the drug for adults with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) caused by narcolepsy.1 

When is solriamfetol needed? 

Solriamfetol is recommended as an option for treating EDS in adults with narcolepsy with or without cataplexy. This is only if modafinil and either dexamfetamine or methylphenidate have not worked well enough or are not suitable.1 

What is EDS? 

EDS is a defining clinical symptom of narcolepsy and is usually the first symptom to appear.2,3 EDS can interfere with every aspect of a person’s life including their physical and mental health, relationships, employment, career, daily activities, social interactions and family life.4 

Official comments 

“This decision increases treatment options for people with narcolepsy, creating more opportunity for them to access effective treatment sooner. This is a key aim of Narcolepsy UK’s Charter as access to effective treatment can dramatically improve multiple aspects of people’s lives including their education, working, family and social life,” said Matt O’Neill, Chair of Trustees at Narcolepsy UK. “We welcome NICE’s decision and the committee’s recognition of the need for pragmatism when faced with limited evidence with which to compare the cost-effectiveness of treatments for rare diseases such as narcolepsy.”  

Dr Paul Reading, consultant neurologist at South Tees National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, said: “NICE’s recommendation to offer routine NHS access to solriamfetol gives clinicians a much-needed additional treatment option in the management of EDS in narcolepsy for adult patients. Solriamfetol is a once-daily, effective therapy with an interesting mechanism of action as a dual-acting dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor.”  

Commenting on the recommendation, Simon Newton, general manager, UK and Ireland, at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, said: “NICE’s recommendation marks an important milestone in our commitment to offer life-changing medicines that address unmet needs for people living with chronic, and often highly-debilitating, sleep disorders.” 

References

  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Solriamfetolfor treating excessive daytime sleepiness caused by narcolepsy [ID1602] – Final Appraisal Document 2021. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ta10524/documents Last accessed: November 2021.  
  2. Sahni, A.S., et al., Management OfExcessive Sleepiness In Patients With Narcolepsy And OSA: Current Challenges And Future Prospects. Nat Sci Sleep, 2019. 11: p.241-252.  
  3. Sateia, M.J., International classification of sleep disorders-third edition: highlights and modifications. Chest, 2014. 146(5): p.1387-1394. 
  4. Narcolepsy UK. Narcolepsy Charter. 2019. Available from: https://www.narcolepsy.org.uk/sites/narcolepsy.org.uk/files/resources/files/NUK_Charter_v12%28withQR%29.pdfLast accessed: November 2021. 

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