The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdog has marching orders to weigh the effectiveness and efficiency of new uses for three drugs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will review Allergan's Botox injection as a preventive measure against migraine headaches, and it will take a look at Roche's Tarceva as a first-line treatment for a specific genetic type of non-small cell lung cancer. Three uses for Celgene's blood cancer drug Revlimid will also get a review.
According to the agency, government ministers asked NICE for the new appraisals as part of its latest work program. The Botox review comes almost a year after U.K. regulators licensed the drug as a preventative against migraine and several months after the Scottish Medicines Consortium determined that it would not recommend Botox for use by the National Health Service in that jurisdiction.
As for Revlimid, NICE plans to look at the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the drug as a maintenance treatment for multiple myeloma after a stem cell transplant; as induction therapy in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients and a maintenance treatment for multiple myeloma patients who've already received induction chemotherapy; and as a treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes associated with a particular genetic abnormality.
Tarceva will get NICE's appraisal as a first-line treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer that's tested positive for a epidermal growth factor receptor mutation.