- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said that Imnovid (pomalidomide) does not offer enough benefit to justify its cost. Therefore, patients with multiple myeloma in the UK will not be able to receive it.
- The Celgene drug was considered a third-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma, which is an incurable disease. There are other treatments that NICE endorses as suitable treatments for multiple myeloma.
- Based on cost-benefit analyses, Imnovid's cost per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) compared with other treatment options ranges from $79,750 to $111,660.
Currently recommended treatment options for the treatment of multiple myeloma in the UK include thalidomide, Velcade (bortezomib) and Revlamid (lenalidomide). These drugs are used as monotherapy and more frequently in combination. Cost-benefit analyses suggest that Imnovid is an expensive third-line treatment option that, in the opinion of NICE, is not worth the cost.
Despite NICE's stance, the Chief Executive of NICE, Sir Andrew Dillon, has expressed his agency's disappointment over not being able to endorse Imnovid for funding. Funding is an increasingly contentious issue in the UK, and the British Medical Association recently sent out a dire warning that the NHS is "at the breaking point." Unless something changes, NICE will have to say "no" even more than it has in the past.