NHS funding cleared for new specialised treatments

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Three new specialised treatments are now to be made available on the NHS for patients in England after being initially rejected for funding back in December, NHS England has announced.

Funding has been now been green-lighted for second allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplants (also known as bone marrow transplants), with around 15 patients a year who suffer a relapse following a first transplant estimated to be eligible for further treatment.

Eculizumab can be routinely commissioned for a type of kidney inflammation called C3 glomerulopathy – which includes C3 glomerulonephritis and dense deposit disease. It is estimated that up to five patients a year who suffer a relapse following a kidney transplant will benefit from the treatment.

Riociguat for pulmonary arterial hypertension has also been approved for NHS use. Around 90-125 patients a year for whom other treatments have failed are expected to be offered the drug (subject to confirmation of a commercially in confidence discounted price offered by the manufacturer).

All-in-all It is estimated that up to 145 people a year will meet the clinical criteria to benefit from these treatment options being made routinely available to their clinicians with funding from NHS England. These treatments are in addition to the 19 which were approved for routine use earlier in the current financial year, along with funding for an extensive trial of a prevention programme for those at risk of contracting HIV.

"This is really good news for the relatively small number of patients for whom these new treatments could prove beneficial," said NHS England's Acting Director for Specialised Commissioning, John Stewart.

"Last year with the extra funding available we were able to give the go ahead to those new treatments ranked as most important by medical experts. And with additional investment now coming on stream from April we are able to finish the job by funding all 22 of those new treatment options."

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