NICE says no to Celgene’s Imnovid for myeloma

NICE has issued preliminary draft guidance not recommending Celgene’s multiple myeloma treatment Imnovid (pomalidomide).

Imnovid was approved in August 2013 for treating multiple myeloma after two previous treatments including lenalidomide (Celgene’s Revlimid) and bortezomib (Janssen’s Velcade).

NICE says that Celgene did not provide sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of the drug compared with current care. It says that even using the company’s analyses, the drug did not offer enough benefit to justify its high price.

Celgene’s submission put the cost per QALY gained at over £50,000 compared with Velcade. The figure was even higher – more than £70,000 per QALY – when compared with bendamustine plus thalidomide and dexamethasone, putting it well above the range normally considered to cost effective.

Commenting on the draft guidance, Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: “Multiple myeloma is an incurable disease, but NICE-recommended treatment options thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide – which can slow the progress of the condition and help relieve symptoms – have greatly improved the length of time someone can live with the disease and their quality of life.

“We are disappointed not to be able to recommend pomalidomide in this preliminary guidance, but the analyses submitted by Celgene, the company that makes the drug, did not show how well the drug works compared to the other treatments available. Also, Celgene’s own cost effectiveness analysis clearly demonstrated that the drug does not offer enough benefit to justify its price.”

Consultees are now able to comment on the preliminary recommendations which are available for public consultation.

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