The NHS in Scotland Has Turned Down Two Rare Cancer Drugs

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has advised against two cancer medications for rare cancers because it determined that their cost outweighed their benefits.  This decision comes despite being allowed more flexibility around the decision since they are used to treat very rare and end-of-life conditions.

One of the drugs, nivolumab, also known as Opdivo, was not recommended as a routine treatment for advanced bladder cancer but was approved by the SMC last July for use on the NHS in Scotland to treat Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. 

The consortium also rejected the use of obinutuzumab, also known as Gazyvaro, as another treatment option for patients with previously untreated blood cancer known as follicular lymphoma. 

These decisions are disappointing. 

Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW wrote this Post.  Joel is the CEO/Executive Director of Cancer ABCs.  He is a Cancer Thriver diagnosed with five primary cancers - Thyroid, Metastatic Prostate, Renal, Melanoma, and the rare cancer Appendiceal cancer.