First targeted treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis approved by NICE

Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can now benefit from the novel treatment pirfenidone (Esbriet) on the NHS.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, also known as fibrosing alveolitis, is a condition where chronic progressive inflammation causes the alveoli to gradually thicken and scar causing dyspnoea | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, also known as fibrosing alveolitis, is a condition where chronic progressive inflammation causes the alveoli to gradually thicken and scar causing dyspnoea | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The mechanism of action of pirfenidone has not been fully established. Data suggest it has both antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is recommended as an option for patients with a forced vital capacity (FVC) between 50% and 80% predicted, provided it is supplied with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme. It should be discontinued if there is evidence of disease progression, defined as a 10% or greater decline in per cent predicted FVC within a 12 month period.

Look out for Esbriet in the June edition of MIMS.

NICE guidance on pirfenidone in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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