Lenalidomide (used together with a medicine called dexamethasone) is recommended as a possible treatment for people with multiple myeloma who have already had at least two other treatments. The manufacturer of lenalidomide has agreed to cover the cost of the drug for people who stay on treatment for more than 26 cycles (normally a period of 2 years).
Healthcare professionals should not stop prescribing lenalidomide for people with multiple myeloma who were already taking it when the guidance was issued, but who have not already had two or more other treatments. These people should be able to carry on taking lenalidomide until they and their healthcare professional(s) decide that it is the right time to stop treatment.
Following the BBC documentary The Price of Life broadcast on 17 June, NICE has published guidance on the use of lenalidomide for multiple myeloma on its website ahead of the scheduled publication date. The guidance will be formally issued to the NHS when we launch other guidance on 24 June 2009. Accordingly, the Secretary of State's direction requiring NHS organisations to make funding available for NICE recommended treatments within 3 months of final guidance being published will begin on 24 June.