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NICE "No" to Opdivo


March 15, 2017

Experts in the lymphoma treatment field have responded with concern to the publication of draft guidance by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in which NICE suggests it will not recommend BMS’s Opdivo (nivolumab) for patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) whose cancer is progressing despite prior autologous stem cell transplantation and treatment with brentuximab vedotin.   “Today’s news will be disappointing for Hodgkin lymphoma patients waiting for this treatment,” said Dr. Graham Collins, Consultant Haematologist, Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust. “For those whose disease has progressed after currently available therapies, treatment options have historically been very limited, and at this stage, palliative care is the only option available. Nivolumab is the first treatment shown to increase survival in this group whilst providing improved quality of life.”   Jonathan Pearce, Chief Executive of the Lymphoma Association, added: “The news that NICE is minded not to recommend nivolumab, which has shown to be effective in clinical trials, is of concern... We would urge BMS, NICE and clinicians to work together to reassess the decision and find a solution that would ensure Hodgkin lymphoma patients in England, who are without an alternative, have access to the best possible treatment.”   Benjamin Hickey, BMS’s General Manager, UK and Ireland, Bristol-Myers Squibb, commented: “We remain committed to finding a solution for patients and their families, and will be working with NICE to assess how we can reverse this decision and provide patients with access.”  

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