CAR T-cell therapy approved in Scotland

Good news that tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah®) is now available on the NHS in Scotland

Diagram showing a T cell with a chimeric antigen receptor, with the activation signal meeting the stimulation signal attached to the antigen receptor

We are delighted at the news that the CAR T-cell therapy tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah®) has been recommended for use on the NHS in Scotland for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that has not responded (refractory) or has come back (relapsed) after two or more previous treatments.

In March, we reported on the disappointing initial decision of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) not to recommend CAR T-cell therapy in Scotland. The SMC originally stated that there was not enough evidence to be certain that the health benefits of tisagenlecleucel for people with relapsed or refractory DLBCL outweigh its costs. The treatment has since been reassessed and Lymphoma Action was among the patient representative organisations who submitted a response stressing the potential benefits of CAR T-cell therapy for people with otherwise very limited treatment options. The SMC’s decision takes account of a Patient Access Scheme that improves the cost-effectiveness of tisagenlecleucel. Novartis, the company that manufactures tisagenlecleucel, applied a confidential discount to the cost of the medicine.

CAR T-cell therapy is already available on the NHS in England and Wales and we are pleased that the SMC’s decision ensures equality of access to this potentially life-saving treatment across the UK.

This is great news for people affected by lymphoma and means that another significant milestone has been passed in ensuring access to this kind of innovative treatment. It is particularly significant for people affected by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma as CAR T-cell therapy is now available to all suitable patient across the UK.
Ropinder Gill, CEO, Lymphoma Action

Learn more about CAR T-cell therapy, approval and funding of new treatments, and clinical trials for lymphoma.

9 September 2019