Brentuximab vedotin, a promising new monoclonal antibody treatment, has been approved for use on the NHS in Wales for certain patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.
The decision was made by the All Wales Medicine Strategy Group (AWMSG) after asking for the views of patients and medical experts in a consultation process that involved Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
The drug, which has the trade name Adcetris®, will be available for patients in Wales with relapsed or refractory CD30+ Hodgkin lymphoma following an autologous stem cell transplant, or following at least two prior treatments when transplant or chemotherapy is not an option.
Chris West, Head of Media and Public Affairs at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “There was a consensus among the leading medical experts we consulted that brentuximab represents a real step change for patients, who otherwise would have very few treatment options.
“Patients using the drug have also had very positive experiences. This decision by the AWMSG is welcome news and we’re hugely grateful to the patients and doctors who provided their views during the consultation process.”
Brentuximab vedotin will be routinely available on the NHS across Wales within three months following AWMSG’s decision. The news follows a similar decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium last year, again after a process in which Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research played a role in providing expert medical and patient evidence. The treatment is also already available for this group of patients on the NHS in England.