More than 100 NHS clinicians have urged the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to change its decision – declining recommendation of romosozumab, the first new osteoporosis medication for over a decade.
In a joint letter published on January 2, the clinicians warned of the consequences of barring access to the drug to those who suffer the bone-weakening disease.
The joint letter, led by the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS), raised concern over the scarcity of the drug pipeline for osteoporosis and lack of public funding for new research.
It quoted recent government research that showed the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) invested less than £1 million in osteoporosis research in 2020-21, against the £4.6 billion per year cost to the NHS of fractures.
Craig Jones, chief executive of the Royal Osteoporosis Society said: “We’re calling on NICE and the applicant company to get back round the table and work with us to ensure equal access to this important new treatment.
“Osteoporosis clinicians fear that technical misunderstandings are leading to an unfair scenario where Scottish and Northern Irish patients have access to this life-changing medication, while people in England and Wales are left at the mercy of fractures.
“We hope both parties will work with us to find a way forward in the public interest”.
The drug is one of only two treatments licensed by MHRA which induces new bone formation.
The provisional decision from NICE is under consultation, pending a hearing scheduled for early in 2022.