Scottish Medicines Consortium advises on six new drugs


The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises on newly licensed medicines for use by NHS Scotland, has published advice on six medicines.

1. Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) was accepted for weight management in adults and is to be used alongside diet and exercise to help people lose weight. It was also given draft approval by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England and Wales.

Sarah Le Brocq, Director & Founder, All About Obesity, commented on the decision: “This is an important moment for people living with obesity, because until recently treatment options for obesity have been limited, so having access to treatments that can help people lose weight and maintain the weight loss is a huge step forward. Access to support and to effective treatments is vital to help improve quality of life, and has the potential to help an estimated one million people in Scotland.”

2/3. Glofitamab (Columvi) and epcoritamab (Tepkinly) were both accepted for use as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with diffuse large B‑cell lymphoma, who have relapsed or not responded after two previous lines of treatment.

“Epcoritamab is a bispecific antibody, administered as an injection under the skin, designed to recognise and attach to the cancer cells and immune cells, so that the body’s immune system can destroy them,” said Blood Cancer UK’s Scotland Policy Officer, Josh Hill. “While most people go into remission after standard treatment, some people can see their cancer returning after each treatment option they try, leaving them feeling unsettled about what the future holds and what the next treatment option will entail.’

4. Voxelotor (Oxbryta) was accepted for the treatment of haemolytic anaemia due to sickle cell disease in patients aged 12 years and older.

5. Etrasimod (Velsipity) was accepted for the treatment of ulcerative colitis in patients who are 16 years of age or older.

6. Momelotinib (Omjjara) was accepted for the treatment of an enlarged spleen, or symptoms in adults with myelofibrosis, a condition where the bone marrow becomes very dense and rigid and produces abnormal blood cells.

Antoine Herbaux, Vice-President UK Oncology, GSK, said: “Momelotinib is the first JAK inhibitor specifically indicated for the treatment of disease-related splenomegaly or symptoms in both newly diagnosed and previously ruxolitinib-treated adult myelofibrosis patients with moderate to severe anaemia to be made available on the NHS in Scotland.”

Obesity a serious public health issue

SMC Vice Chair Graeme Bryson commented: “Obesity is a serious public health issue in Scotland. The committee has accepted tirzepatide that will help patients with obesity lose and manage their weight when used together with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. This is another option for people with weight-related health conditions.

“We are pleased to be able to accept two medicines for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), glofitamab and epcoritamab. The committee heard from patient representatives the impact this condition has on patients and their families, and the expected benefits these new medicines could bring.

“We know that sickle cell disease can have a huge impact on people’s lives and that our decision to accept voxelotor will be welcomed by patients and their families.”

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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