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Published on 14 June 2011

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Iron deficiency anaemia treatment approved

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The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended the use of Vifor Pharma’s Ferinject® (ferric carboxymaltose), the intravenous (IV) iron for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) when oral iron preparations are ineffective or cannot be used.

This provides an immediate opportunity for patients in Scotland to benefit from rapid correction of their anaemia especially in chronic kidney disease, chronic heart failure and inflammatory bowel disease.

Ferinject® has a proven efficacy and safety profile that has been demonstrated through several large clinical trials confirming that up to 1,000mg of Ferinject® can be administered without a test dose in 15 minutes. This offers a significant advance for patients and healthcare professionals over Venofer (iron sucrose), which requires five separate hospital visits to administer the same dose of 1,000mg of iron.

The cost implications associated with this reduced requirement for hospital visits with Ferinject® was an important consideration for the SMC, with Ferinject® showing that if all patients currently receiving iron sucrose or iron dextran were to receive Ferinject®, NHS Scotland would actually save money.

Neil Turner, Professor of Nephrology at the University of Edinburgh and Chairman of Kidney Research UK, said: “Reduction of hospital visits to once, instead of up to five times to receive intravenous iron is likely to be welcomed both by patients, and NHS organisations which are striving to operate ever more effectively and efficiently in these financially difficult times.”

Dr Senthil Vel, Medical Director at Vifor Pharma UK Ltd, said: “We are delighted with this positive decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, which is based on a submission of data from 14 clinical studies involving more than 3,400 patients. Our continued aim is to make Ferinject more accessible to those patients who require rapid intravenous iron, thus providing them with a more flexible and patient-friendly treatment regimen, with the ultimate aim of improving their quality of life.”

Vifor Pharma



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