The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its final recommendations on whether six different drug treatments should be routinely funded by the NHS.
NICE says each piece of guidance looked at the cost-effectiveness of a particular drug to treat a specific medical condition. They cover major depressive disorder, hepatitis C, melanoma and psoriasis.
Vortioxetine for the treatment of major depressive disorder
NICE recommends vortioxetine be made available as a third-line treatment for major depressive episodes.
Vortioxetine (marketed as Brintellix by Lundbeck and Takeda) should be considered as a treatment option for adults whose condition has responded inadequately to two antidepressants within the current episode.
New options for hepatitis C
NICE recommends three new treatments for some adults with hepatitis C:
- Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni, Gilead Sciences)
- Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir with or without dasabuvir (Viekirax with or without Exviera, Abbvie)
- Daclatasvir (Daklinza, Bristol-Myers Squibb)
It is recommended that the decision to treat and prescribing decisions are made by multidisciplinary teams in the operational delivery networks put in place by NHS England, to prioritise treatment for people with the highest unmet clinical need.
Pembrolizumab for the treatment of melanoma
NICE recommends pembrolizumab (also called Keytruda and manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme) as a treatment for some patients with advanced melanoma. It is recommended as an option in adults:
- for treating advanced melanoma that has not been previously treated with ipilimumab, and
- when the company provides pembrolizumab with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.
Apremilast for the treatment of Psoriasis
NICE does not recommend apremilast (also called Otezla and manufactured by Celgene) for treating some adults with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.
People whose treatment with apremilast was funded by the NHS before this guidance was published should be able to continue treatment until they and their NHS clinician consider it appropriate to stop.