Scotland backs three new therapies for NHS use

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New medicines for HIV, asthma and MRSA-related skin infections have been recommended for use on the National Health Service by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

First up, the cost watchdog has backed Janssen-Cilag’s Rezolsta, which combines the company’s HIV therapy Prezista (darunavir) and Gilead’s Tybost (cobicistat), offering an alternative for patients unable to tolerate the side effects of other treatments in a single pill. The SMC has also recommended Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium) for the treatment of asthma – it is already marketed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Merck & Co’s Cubist unit has received backing for its once-daily antibiotic Sivextro (tedizolid phosphate) as a cost-effective option for the treatment of acute bacterial skin infections and infections of the structures beneath the skin, including conditions such as cellulitis, skin abscesses and wound infections.

However, the SMC has rejected Eisai’s Halaven (eribulin) for breast cancer or Astellas’ Xtandi (enzalutamide) for castration-resistant prostate cancer, saying the price/benefit ratio is not favourable.