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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC Update - March 2012

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

Atorvastatin chewable tablets (Lipitor®) have been accepted as an adjunct to diet in the treatment of adults, adolescents and children aged 10 years or older with primary hypercholesterolaemia. The review notes that this chewable presentation is currently cost equivalent to regular tablets but that less expensive generics are expected in the near future.

Asenapine (Sycrest®) has been rejected for the treatment of moderate to severe manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. The manufacturer failed to make a sufficiently robust economic case.

Fingolimod (Gilenya®) has been rejected for use as monotherapy in highly active relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in patients with high disease activity despite treatment with a beta-interferon or rapidly evolving severe RRMS defined by two or more disabling relapses in one year with specified MRI changes. The manufacturer failed to make a sufficiently robust economic case.

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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