Janssen is extremely pleased that NHS England has confirmed that Janssen-Cilag International NV's (Janssen) ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA®) will remain on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for the treatment of two types of blood cancer, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) and Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL).1 This means that this important treatment option will continue to be available to eligible relapsed/ refractory CLL and MCL patients in England. This follows publication of the original list on 4 September which had identified ibrutinib for potential de-listing.
The CDF was introduced by the Government to enable patients to gain access to innovative new cancer medicines during the period between a drug obtaining a European licence and it being routinely reimbursed following approval by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Ibrutinib is a member of a new class of targeted medicines and was granted a licence based on trial data from two separate studies.2, 3 This treatment can now continue to benefit eligible UK patients with relapsed or refractory CLL and MCL whose disease has come back following their first treatment and who currently have very few options.
Mark Hicken, Managing Director of Janssen UK, said: "At Janssen, our first priority is to patients and so we are delighted that, together with NHS England, we have been able to find a solution that means ibrutinib can continue to be made available to patients who need it. This decision comes as a result of our collaborative approach and our relentless commitment to ensuring that the most effective new treatments reach the patients who need them. We continue to contribute to the ongoing reforms that we hope will bring a more long term solution to the issue of cancer drugs funding in England."
Approximately one in every twenty-five people will be diagnosed with blood cancer during their lifetime.4 That equates to around 30,000 people each year being diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK;5 of these 2,800 will have CLL and 500 will have MCL.6, 7