NICE recommends pirfenidone as a possible treatment for some people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (see below).

Who can have pirfenidone?

You should be able to have pirfenidone if your forced vital capacity (FVC; a test of your lung function) is between 50% and 80% of the value expected for you.

Pirfenidone should be stopped if your disease gets worse, that is, if your FVC falls by 10% or more in 12 months.

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, but pirfenidone did not qualify for special consideration. NICE recommended pirfenidone because the benefit to patients justifies the cost.

Your responsibility

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.

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