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Published on 3 July 2015

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NHS England approves routine commissioning for Parkinson’s treatment Duodopa®

AbbVie welcomes the decision by NHS England to approve Duodopa® (Levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel – LCIG) for routine commissioning for the first time and to publish a clinical commissioning policy. Doctors in England will now be able to prescribe the treatment as an option for those people with advanced Parkinson’s who they consider to be suitable, in line with the new policy.

 

AbbVie welcomes the decision by NHS England to approve Duodopa® (Levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel – LCIG) for routine commissioning for the first time and to publish a clinical commissioning policy. Doctors in England will now be able to prescribe the treatment as an option for those people with advanced Parkinson’s who they consider to be suitable, in line with the new policy.

 

There is no cure for Parkinson’s but symptoms of the condition can be controlled with the right treatment. Given the progressive nature of the condition, timely access to the right treatments is vital as there is often a ‘window of opportunity’ for treatments to work best.

 

LCIG has only been available on the NHS in England over the last eight years through an individual funding request (IFR) for each patient. This was typically time-consuming for clinicians and resulted in inconsistent access across England. Matt Regan, UK General Manager at AbbVie said: “Patients have been waiting a long time for this decision, it’s very positive news for people living with Parkinson’s. There should now be consistent access to this medicine and we urge the NHS to ensure the policy is implemented quickly and smoothly.

 

Around 127,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in the UK. (1) It leads to a loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain, which controls movement and balance. (1) The digestive system is also often affected meaning that the absorption of oral medication can become less effective over time. (3) LCIG is administered directly through the intestine, bypassing the stomach, and may be prescribed for some people with Parkinson’s who have tried other combinations of medicines but do not have satisfactory control of their motor symptoms (movement and balance). (4)

 

Professor K Ray Chaudhuri, Consultant Neurologist and Professor in Neurology/Movement Disorders at Kings College and Kings College Hospital, Parkinson’s Centre of Excellence, London welcomes the policy: “This new policy represents a positive step forward in the management of Parkinson’s. To date, access to Duodopa® has been highly variable and severely restricted, in spite of its wide availability in most European countries. Clinicians, patients and their carers can now realistically consider this as a treatment option when Parkinson’s symptoms advance and become unmanageable by other therapies. There is a real need to offer people further treatment options at the advanced stage.

 

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition and symptoms can become more difficult to control. Difficulties in controlling body movement and balance can severely impact quality of life, self-esteem and the ability to undertake basic activities like dressing, walking or moving around the house. At this stage of disease, standard treatments may no longer provide patients with adequate symptom control and access to other options may be required. (5)

 

References

  1. NHS Choices. Parkinson’s Disease http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Parkinsons-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Last accessed June 2015.
  2. Worth P. When the going getshttp://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Parkinsons-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx tough: how to select patients with Parkinson’s disease for advanced therapies. Pract Neurol 2013;0:1–13.
  3. Fernandez et al. Levodopa—carbidopa intestinal gel in advanced Parkinson’s disease open-label study: Interim results. 2013;19(3):339–45.
  4. Electronic Medicine Compendium. Duodopa Summary of Product Characteristics. http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/20786/SPC/Duodopa+intestinal+gel/. Last accessed June 2015.
  5. Parkinson’s UK. Advanced Parkinson’s. http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/advanced-parkinsons. Last accessed June 2015.


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