Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC Update - January 2011

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has issued its monthly advice on new medicines.

Degarelix (Firmagon®) has been accepted for the treatment of adult male patients with advanced hormone-dependent prostate cancer. The SMC note the benefits of a patient access scheme (PAS) that improves the cost-effectiveness of degarelix and this recommendation is based upon continued access to this scheme.

Valsartan (Diovan®) has been accepted for restricted use in the treatment of hypertension in children and adolescents 6 to 18 years of age provided that treatment is recommended by a paediatric specialist consultant.

Fentanyl nasal spray (PecFent®) has been accepted for restricted use in the management of breakthrough pain in adults who are already receiving maintenance opioid therapy for chronic cancer pain in patients unsuitable for short-acting oral opioids.

Levetiracetam oral solution (Keppra®) has been restricted use as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures with or without secondary generalisation in children and infants from 1 month of age to 4 years with epilepsy provided that initiation and management is under the supervision of a paediatric neurologist.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the recommendations of the SMC. Routine use of rejected and restricted medicines should be avoided.

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