Pembrolizumab for advanced melanoma

In final draft guidance, NICE has recommended that pembrolizumab should be made available on the NHS for some adult patients with advanced melanoma which is either unresectable or metastatic

This is in the case of patients whose disease has progressed with ipilimumab and, for BRAF V600 mutation-positive disease, a BRAF or MEK inhibitor, and when the manufacturer provides pembrolizumab with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.
Pembrolizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody that acts on the programmed cell death protein-1 immune checkpoint receptor pathway, blocking its interaction with ligand on the tumour cells.
It was the first drug to be approved through the government’s Early Access to Medicine Scheme in March 2015. The scheme aims to help patients with life-threatening or seriously debilitating conditions benefit from promising, innovative treatments before a European licence has been granted.
Life sciences minister George Freeman said: ‘I am delighted MSD has decided to use the Early Access to Medicines Scheme to accelerate access for our NHS patients. The Accelerated Access Review will also make practical recommendations to increase the pace of getting innovative products to patients.’
NICE. Final appraisal determination. Pembrolizumab for treating advanced melanoma after disease progression with ipilimumab. September 2015

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