NICE recommends azacitidine as a possible treatment for some adults with myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia.
Who can have azacitidine?
People who cannot have a stem cell transplant may be able to have azacitidine. Azacitidine is 'licensed' (approved as being safe by the European regulatory agency) for adults with myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia, but only in specific circumstances, for example, depending on the characteristics of the person's blood and bone marrow.
Why has NICE said this?
NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE applies special considerations to treatments that can extend the lives of people who are nearing the end of their life. NICE recommended azacitidine because the cost is justified by the benefits it provides when the special considerations are applied.
The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.