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Hep C drugs among those accepted today for Scottish NHS

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Five new medicines, including treatments for hepatitis C, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, have been approved for use by regulators in Scotland.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today published advice accepting five new medicines for use by NHSScotland, with two drugs being backed for the treatment of hepatitis C.

“The two medicines we accepted for hepatitis C will help open up treatment to more patients”

Alan MacDonald

Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir (Vosevi) was accepted for the treatment of hepatitis C in adults who have failed to respond to previous treatment with targeted anti-viral therapy – becoming the only option available for this patient group.

The same drug was also accepted for use in adults with hepatitis C genotype 3 who have not been treated with targeted anti-viral therapy and are suitable for an eight week course of treatment.

Another medicine, sofosbuvir-velpatasvir (Epclusa), was also accepted for the treatment of hepatitis C in patients with genotype one or four infection.

The SMC has previously published separate advice for sofosbuvir-velpatasvir, so this medicine is now available for the treatment of all hepatitis C genotypes.

In addition, the SMC has accepted sarilumab (Kevzara) as a further treatment option for adult patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded to, or are intolerant of, standard therapies.

Meanwhile, it has accepted dimethyl fumarate (Skilarence) for plaque psoriasis and teduglutide (Revestive) for treating paediatric onset short bowel syndrome in children aged one to 17 years.

Short bowel syndrome is an extremely rare condition in which nutrients and fluids are not properly absorbed by the gut.

“Teduglutide has the potential to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from short bowel syndrome from a young age”

Alan McDonald

The SMC said it had been highlighted to it that patients with short bowel syndrome were usually given nutrients as an infusion directly into their veins – a process known as parenteral nutrition.

Teduglutide can reduce the level of parenteral nutrition that is required, enabling patients and their carers to experience an improved quality of life, said the body.

SMC chair Dr Alan MacDonald said: “Teduglutide has the potential to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from short bowel syndrome from a young age.

“The two medicines we accepted for hepatitis C will help open up treatment to more patients, including those who have not responded to previous treatments, further helping to meet the Scottish government’s aim of eradicating this condition,” he added.

“Sarilumab provides an alternative for patients who have failed to respond to conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis,” she said. “Dimethyl fumarate (Skilarence) offers another treatment option for use in plaque psoriasis.”

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