The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has announced today that ibrutinib in combination with rituximab has been approved for NHS use in Scotland for adults with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia who have had at least one previous treatment. This gives patients in Scotland access for the first time to ibrutinib, a new treatment with a specific license for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia and brings Scotland in line with the other nations in the UK.
Lindsey Bennister, Chief Executive, said “We are very pleased that the SMC have taken the decision to make ibrutinib available to WM patients in Scotland (with certain restrictions). It is vital that WM patients have access to new innovative treatments to improve their quality of life and help with the debilitating symptoms of this rare type of blood cancer.”
WMUK participated in the SMC assessment process, presenting evidence about the impact of WM and current treatments on patients, and making a strong case for funding this treatment combination. WMUK patient trustees, Will Franks and Harriet Scorer took part in a special SMC pre-meeting (PACE meeting), providing insights into the personal impact of WM and their experiences of treatments including ibrutinib. WMUK Chief Executive, Lindsey Bennister attended the final SMC Committee meeting, highlighting the important points from our evidence. The charity is very grateful to the WM patients in Scotland who generously shared their experiences of living with WM to inform our written evidence.
Ibrutinib is a type of treatment called a BTK inhibitor, which works by blocking the signals that cancer cells use to survive and grow. It is currently licensed for adults with WM who aren’t able to have chemo-immunotherapy, or who have had at least one previous course of treatment. It is the first treatment that is licensed specifically for WM.
* in combination with rituximab, for adults who have had at least one previous treatment.