NICE approves first drug under the early access to medicines scheme

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 10 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4822
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The first drug to be made available under the UK’s early access to medicines scheme has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Pembrolizumab, used to treat advanced melanoma, was made available in March this year, before it had been given a licence, under a scheme designed to speed drugs to patients if they show a good balance of risk and benefit and if there is an unmet need.1

Its manufacturer, MSD, made it available free of charge, and …

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