New treatments approved for migraines, psoriasis and liver cancer in Scotland

Medicines for treating migraines, psoriasis and liver cancer have been approved for use by NHS Scotland.

The three new medicines have been licensed by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which advises on drugs that can be used in the health service.

Patients suffering from chronic migraines, for whom at least three other preventative medicines have failed, will be able to take Erenumab (Aimovig).

It has been found to reduce the duration of the debilitating symptoms, such as extreme head pain, nausea and vomiting.

Liver cancer sufferers with a form called hepatocellular carcinoma will be able to access the newly approved Lenvatinib (Lenvima) if they are not able to undergo surgery or have a transplant.

The SMC said diagnosis of this type of liver cancer “often happens at an advanced stage and there is a poor prognosis”.

The committee also accepted certolizumab (Cimzia), for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, which causes red, scaly patches on the skin.

Certolizumab offers another treatment option for adult patients with the disease who have failed to respond to standard therapies.

SMC chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said: “Our committee members are pleased to be able to accept these three new medicines for use by NHS Scotland.

“From the evidence provided to us by patient groups, we know that our decision on erenumab will be very welcomed by those suffering from chronic migraine who have not responded to previous treatment.”

“For patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who are unable to undergo surgery or transplant, lenvatinib offers a useful alternative to the current available treatment.”

“Our decision on certolizumab offers what will hopefully be another helpful treatment option for patients with plaque psoriasis where previous therapies have been unsuccessful.”

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