The drug will be available for patients with relapsed or refractory CD30+ Hodgkin lymphoma following autologous stem cell transplant, or following at least two prior therapies when transplant or chemotherapy is not an option.
The SMC had initially decided the drug should not be provided. However, during a new stage in the drug assessment process, they met with patient groups and clinicians to hear expert views on whether the treatment would improve patient care.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research attended the meeting in August, alongside the Lymphoma Association and independent clinicians, who all agreed that brentuximab represents a step change for these patients, who without this drug would have very few treatment options.
To prepare for the meeting, we gathered the views of leading haematologists and of patients who had experience of using the drug – this allowed us to present a clear recommendation to the SMC at the meeting.
The drug is already available for this patient population in England, so it is great news that it will now also be available to NHS patients in Scotland. We shall continue to work with regulators to ensure medicines like this are available throughout the UK.