9th September 2019

SMC rejects targeted therapy as first line treatment

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium has today ruled out recommending osimertinib for use as first line of treatment by NHS Scotland for patients with advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The decision mirrors that of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which did not recommend osimertinib because the cost effectiveness estimates were above what it normally considers to be “an acceptable use of NHS resources” back in July.

Our response to SMC’s decision re osimertinib:

“We are very disappointed to hear SMC has not recommended the targeted therapy, osimertinib, as a first line treatment for patients with EGFR+ lung cancer.

“One of our aims as the UK’s only lung cancer charity is to ensure people with lung cancer have access to life-lengthening treatments. We are the patient representative on both SMC and NICE and demonstrate the benefits new treatments can have on a person’s life.

We recognise the value of each life; each patient deserves the best chance of spending as much time as possible with their family, friends and loved ones, and the best chance to live as well and as comfortably as possible. That is why it is so disappointing that SMC did not rule in favour of approving osimertinib for this group of patients.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

“We hope that, even at this stage, the manufacturer and SMC will continue their dialogue and that, the near future, this drug may yet be made available to people who would benefit.”

About osimertinib

In patients with EGFR positive NSCLC, the EGFR gene makes a faulty EGFR protein, which drives the growth of cancer cells. Osimertinib works by binding to the EGFR protein which blocks the processes that result in the growth and spread of cancer cells.  

Only around 10% of patients with NSCLC have cancer cells with the EGFR mutation.

Osimertinib is available as a second line treatment to patients with EGFR+ locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

If you are affected by this decision and want more information, you can call our Ask the Nurse service on 0800 358 7200, email lungcancerhelp@roycastle.org, or download information about treatment options at here.