The year 2017 ended with good news for Multiple Myeloma (MM) patients in England and Wales, with an approval of ixazomib (Ninlaro) by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for its use to treat NHS patients. This follows an initial rejection by NICE due to limited clinical evidence when weighed up against cost-effectiveness criteria - see previous MM Hub article. However, Takeda, the company that markets ixazomib, worked closely with NICE to find a way to overturn this decision, and an agreement with the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) has enabled funding and availability as of 19 December 2017, as explained in the NICE appraisal and determination document:
“Ixazomib has the potential to be cost effective for people who have had 2 or 3 lines of therapy, at the price agreed in a commercial access agreement as part of the managed access agreement. But more evidence is needed to address the clinical uncertainties. It can therefore be recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund while further data are collected from the clinical trial, and through the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy dataset”.
Ixazomib will now be available for the treatment of MM patients who have received two or three prior treatments and is recommended for use in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone. Patients have applauded this decision as this unique triplet regimen not only extends life expectancy for patients with relapsed MM but is a highly convenient oral combination. Ixazomib is not currently available in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but both Takeda and patient groups will be working closely with the relevant authorities in order to extend authorization.