New drugs designed to treat cancer, lung disease and dermatitis approved for use in Scotland

Five new medications have been given the green light for use by NHS Scotland on Monday.

The new drugs – designed to treat dermatitis, different types of cancer and the first licensed treatment of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) – have been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), according to an announcement from the agency.

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Nintedanib became the first treatment accepted for use for use on chronic fibrosing ILDs, which causes lung tissue to harden over time and leads to breathing issues, and the SMC claims the treatment can slow the rate of decline in lung function and extend the amount of time patients can carry out everyday tasks.

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Trifluridine/tipiracil can be used to treat advanced gastric cancer – which generally comes with a poor prognosis for patients, although it is hoped that the drug could offer a “modest survival benefit”.

Mogamulizumab was accepted by the SMC to treat advanced mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS) – two rare cancers of the blood cells which can cause skin tumours that ulcerate and weep, leaving it difficult to complete basic everyday tasks.

The SMC say the drug slows the progression of the conditions and may “offer better tolerability” to patients.

Drugs designed to treat dermatitis, different types of cancer and the first licensed treatment of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) have been approved for use in NHS Scotland.

All three drugs were accepted through the SMC’s Patient and Clinician Engagement (Pace) route, which allows patient groups and doctors to have more of a say in the consortium’s decision-making when it comes to end-of-life treatments or medicines for rare conditions.

Meanwhile, acalabrutinib was approved for the treatment of previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), an incurable and relapsing blood cancer which can lead to “substantial fatigue” because of a compromised immune system.

Finally, baricitinib was accepted for use on patients who have already had treatment for severe atopic dermatitis – a skin condition that cause itchiness that could be “unbearable” according to the SMC.

Mark MacGregor, the chairman of the SMC, said: “We are pleased to be able to accept these five new medicines for use by NHS Scotland

“From the evidence given by patients and clinicians in the Pace meeting, we know that trifluridine/tipiracil may allow patients with gastric cancer, their families and carers to have additional time together. We hope our decision will be welcomed.”

“For patients with MF and SS, our decision on mogamulizumab offers the chance to slow progression of these distressing and uncomfortable conditions with better symptom control.”

“As the first licensed treatment option for non-IPF progressive fibrosing ILDs, nintedanib provides patients with a treatment that can slow the decline in their lung function, allowing them to continue leading their daily lives for longer.”

“For those patients previously untreated for CLL, acalabrutinib offers another treatment option which may enable them to continue to fully take part in family life and routine daily activities.”

“Our decision on baricitinib provides another treatment option for atopic dermatitis which may improve symptoms and provide patients with a better quality of life.”

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