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Asthma

Biologic injection for severe asthma approved in Scotland

A biologic injection intended for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma has been accepted for restricted use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), providing another option for patients who fail to respond to other treatments.

Use of benralizumab (Fasenra; AstraZeneca) will be restricted to patients with severe eosinophilic asthma that is inadequately controlled despite taking high-dose inhaled corticosteroids plus long-acting beta-agonists.

“This SMC decision is fantastic news for severe asthma patients in Scotland, providing access to another targeted treatment that has the potential to improve long-term control of the disease,” said Brian Lipworth from the Scottish Centre for Respiratory Research at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland.

“In my clinical experience, standard-of-care therapy may not prevent asthma exacerbations, A&E visits or hospitalisations for people with severe asthma.”

The SMC noted that benralizumab, which is administered once every four weeks for the first three doses and then every eight weeks afterwards, may be more convenient for patients and carers. Other biologics for severe eosinophilic asthma are given every four weeks.

It is estimated that around 5,500 people in Scotland could be eligible for treatment.

Benralizumab was approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in January 2019.

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206661

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