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Charity hails cancer drug approval

A cancer charity has hailed a decision by EU medical chiefs to approve a pill which doubles the survival rates for people with myeloma.

Revlimid (lenalidomide) has been given marketing approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for use with a standard therapy called dexamethasone in patients who have had at least one prior treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will now study evidence from the manufacturer, Celgene International Sarl.

This could then see the drug approved for use on the NHS in England and Wales.

Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow and there is currently no cure. Around 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with it in the UK every year, and around 20,000 currently suffer from it.

Eric Low, chief executive of charity Myeloma UK, said: "The licensing of Revlimid represents another step towards helping myeloma become a disease that in the future people can live with, rather than die from.

"Revlimid is an important drug for the treatment of myeloma; however, there are many more hurdles to overcome before it can be widely accessible to the UK myeloma patients who need it."


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