Lenalidomide Recommended in U.K. for Multiple Myeloma

Committee finds drug effective for patients who have used at least two other therapies previously

FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- On June 24, the United Kingdom's National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will publish guidance recommending use of the drug lenalidomide for life-extending therapy for multiple myeloma patients who have received two or more previous therapies, according to an early report in the June 18 online edition of the The Lancet Oncology.

Elangovan Gajraj, of NICE in London, and colleagues on the review committee reviewed data from two clinical trials on the use of lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone compared to dexamethasone alone. The committee also evaluated and adjusted several cost models to ascertain cost-effectiveness in the use of National Health Service resources.

In a pooled analysis of the data from the two clinical trials, the committee found the median survival was 149.7 weeks in the lenalidomide plus dexamethasone groups, compared with 133.3 weeks in the dexamethasone only groups. After several rounds of adjustment, the committee estimated an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £43,800 per quality-adjusted life year in a scheme in which the drug manufacturer foots the cost of lenalidomide beyond 26 treatment cycles for people who have received two or more previous therapies.

"In patients with multiple myeloma who have received two or more previous therapies, life-expectancy without lenalidomide is unlikely to be greater than 24 months, and lenalidomide could, plausibly, increase survival by more than three months compared with dexamethasone," the authors conclude.

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