28. July 2011 12:47
Trobalt (retigabine) has joined the options available to the NHS for the treatment of controlling seizures in adults who have epilepsy.
NICE has advised that the drug be used as an add-on treatment option if several other recommended medicines have been ineffective or produced unmanageable side effects.
Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE says the Institute is pleased to offer final guidance “so soon after retigabine’s regulatory approval”.
The GSK drug was licensed by the EMA back in March.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterised by recurring seizures, which affects between 260,000 and 416,000 people in England and Wales – more than half will experience partial onset seizures.
Sufferers of the condition usually need to take a combination of drugs to control their seizures. In the guidance, NICE recommends Trobalt as an add-on treatment for those who have not responded to the following: Tegretol (carbamazepine), Frisium (clobazam), Neurontin (gabapentin), Lamictal (lamotrigine), Keppra (levetiracetam), Trileptal (oxcarbazepine), Epilim (sodium valproate) and Topamax (topiramate).
“Seizures can be extremely debilitating as they can interfere with a person’s social life, employment and other daily activities,” said Professor Longson.
“While there are a number of effective anti-epileptic drugs already widely available on the NHS, people can have different responses to them. It’s therefore very important for doctors to have a broad range of options so that they can find the right combination for their patients.”