- In June 2013 and again in May of this year, NICE rejected use of Celgene's Revlimid for treatment of MDS caused by an isolated deletion-5q-cytogenetic chromosomal abnormality.
- Current treatments for MDS include periodic blood transfusions and supportive care.
- NICE’s reversal is based on new data from Celgene and the company's decision to implement a patient access scheme (PAS).
Around 2,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with MDS each year. The disease is caused by dysfunction of the bone marrow and results in underproduction of certain blood cells. MDS can lead to acute myeloid leukemia, anemia, and death.
Celgene's PAS was a large part of the reason that NICE reversed course, since it assured the agency that the drug would not put undue burden on either patients or the NHS. The PAS stipulates that NHS will fund treatment for the first 26 weeks, after which Celgene will pay for an individual’s treatment.