Lung disease

Life-extending drug for chronic lung disease available on the NHS

The NHS will now make the life-extending drug, which could give those who suffer from the pulmonary fibrosis up to 2 years more, available via prescription.

It is estimated that over thirty-thousand people suffer from pulmonary fibrosis in the UK, a condition caused by asbestos inhalation.

Until now the drug has not been available on the NHS, meaning some patients have paid in excess of three-thousand pounds online to obtain it.

The decision by the National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE), means that over fifteen-thousand people will now have access to the drug.

Dr Nazia  Chaudhuri, a Consultant Respiratory Physician at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, says:

‘This is a game changer for patients with progressive fibrosis.  I am absolutely delighted with the NICE decision to be able to give life changing antifibrotic therapy to all patients with progressive lung fibrosis.’

Nintedanib, an antifibrotic drug used to treat people with the lung condition, was only previously prescribed to people with a certain range of lung function.

"This is a landmark moment for patients and their loved ones with pulmonary fibrosis."

The drug works by slowing down the rate at which the scar tissue forms on the lungs and is usually prescribed to people in the later stages of the disease.

Steve Jones, Chair of Trustees at Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, says:

‘This is a landmark moment for patients and their loved ones with pulmonary fibrosis.  We’d couldn’t have achieved this without the support of patients, families, MP’s and clinicians who understood the injustice of this rule.  Nintedanib has been proved in a clinical trial and offers doctors another treatment they can use to slow down disease progression and hopefully extend life.  We are delighted this will now be available to patients.’

The main form of the disease is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The disease mainly affects people over the age of seventy but can be found in people fifty and over. Only 1 in 5 of sufferers survive longer than 5 years after diagnosis meaning access to the drug is crucial for a longer life expectancy.

Other forms of treatment such as: stopping smoking and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, oxygen masks to assist breathing and light forms of exercise, also known as pulmonary rehabilitation, can be successful in easing the progression of the disease.

There is currently no cure for IPF and clinical trials involving Nintedanib has shown that whilst it is effective in slowing the scaring, it cannot stop it.

National Health Executive, Nov/Dec, Cover

NHE Nov/Dec 22

How active travel can help staff save money, improve wellbeing and help meet net zero targets

This issue highlights the latest topics within the health sector, from the NHS outlining its net zero strategy, Virtual hospitals, sustainable healthcare, How the NHS can achieve financial stability and more with articles featuring industry leaders such as Rory Deighton, Acute Network Director for NHS Confederation, Dr Tom Milligan, Clinical Lead for Diabetes in Humber and North Yorkshire, Misha Garcia, Value Programme Lead, NHS Property Services and many more.

Videos...

View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all