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New Cancer Drugs May Soon Be Available In Ireland


New Cancer Drugs May Soon Be Available In Ireland

The HSE is to consider in the coming days the approval of the cancer drugs Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab, the Minister Health Simon Harris announced over the weekend.

“I want the assessment process progressed urgently. Both of these drugs have been considered by the National Council for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) as part of the assessment process, and I understand that they are scheduled to be further considered by the HSE in the course of this week.

I have been in contact with the HSE throughout the weekend and have emphasised the need for the assessment process to be completed as quickly as possible.

My absolute priority is the care of the patients and I have asked the HSE to report back to me on this matter as early as possible this week,” the Minister said on Sunday.

The cancer type melanoma is a skin cancer caused by ultraviolet light exposure. This can be caused by sun exposure, tanning devices or moles.

Even though it is mainly found on the skin it can sometimes also be detected in the mouth, eye or intestines.

Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab are novel immunotherapies with programmed death (PD-1) inhibitors and have recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is prescribed for treatment-refractory patients with metastatic melanoma.

Last year the FDA approved nivolumab for treatment of patients with metastatic squamous and nonsquamous Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) after progression on platinum-based therapy.

Data indicates that Nivolumab could treat patients with HCC (liver cancer) who have developed viral hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.

Pembrolizumab has been recommended for the treatment of tumors with genetic MMR defects and has proved successful with patients with advanced disease who have stopped responding to ipilimumab and in patients with lung cancer.

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