Resource impact statement

Cancer Drugs Fund technology

The guidance makes 2 recommendations on the use of pembrolizumab.

Recommendation 1

Pembrolizumab is not recommended for treating relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma in adults who have had autologous stem cell transplant and brentuximab vedotin.

Therefore, there is no resource impact as a result of this recommendation.

Recommendation 2

Pembrolizumab is recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund as an option for treating relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma in adults who have had brentuximab vedotin and cannot have autologous stem cell transplant, only if:

  • pembrolizumab is stopped after 2 years of treatment or earlier if the person has a stem cell transplant or the disease progresses and
  • the conditions in the managed access agreement for pembrolizumab are followed.

Pembrolizumab will be available to the NHS in line with the managed access agreement with NHS England. As part of this, NHS England and Merck Sharp & Dohme have a commercial access agreement that makes pembrolizumab available to the NHS at a reduced cost. The financial terms of the agreement are commercial in confidence.

The resource impact of this recommendation will be covered by the Cancer Drugs Fund budget. The guidance will be reviewed when the data collection period ends (July 2022). The aim of the review is to decide whether or not the drug can be recommended for routine use. Further information can be found in NHS England’s Appraisal and funding of cancer drugs from July 2016 (including the new Cancer Drugs Fund) – a new deal for patients, taxpayers and industry.

It is estimated that around 70 people per year with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma who have had brentuximab vedotin and cannot have autologous stem cell transplant are eligible for treatment with pembrolizumab.

This technology is commissioned by NHS England. Providers are NHS hospital trusts.


This page was last updated: 03 September 2018