NICE has recommended Roche’s MabThera (rituximab) in draft guidance for advanced follicular lymphoma after reviewing a previous technology appraisal.
MabThera was previously recommended in combination with CVP chemotherapy and has now been recommended with CHOP, MCP and CHVP regimens.
Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, says that “four good quality” trails indicated the additional treatment options “help patients live longer and improve their overall response”.
More than 1800 people in England and Wales have follicular lymphoma. Currently, advanced follicular lymphoma is not curable, and so the aim of disease management is to both increase life expectancy and patients’ quality of life.
The original technology appraisal 110 was issues in September 2006. The guidance recommended the use of MabThera plus CVP as an option for first-line induction therapy for symptomatic stage III-IV follicular lymphoma.
Two years later, MabThera’s marketing authorisation was revised to allow the use of a wider range of chemotherapy regimens. As a result NICE’s Independent Appraisal Committee review the original appraisal and found the treatment to be both clinically and cost-effective as a first-line treatment when used with additional chemotherapy options.
“Committee members heard evidence that patients require different treatment combinations depending on their age and overall health,” said Professor Longson. “Some people are not fit enough to receive rituximab plus CVP, the most common form of treatment, and so other treatment options might be useful for them.
“In addition, the economic analyses demonstrate that adding rituximab to the chemotherapy regimens is good value for money. The independent advisory committee concluded that the cost of rituximab in relation to how well it works in combination with CVP, CHOP, MCP and CHVP is an effective use of NHS resources.”
The draft recommendation is now open for consultation with final guidance expected in January 2012.