Treatments for patients with heart disease and those with severe asthma have been approved for use on the NHS in Scotland.
Three treatments have been accepted in the latest round of decisions from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).
The SMC said they may be useful for patients whose disease is “not well managed with the currently available treatments”.
Tezepelumab, provided under the brand name Tezspire, was accepted for treating severe asthma.
It is used as an add-on treatment for patients with severe asthma that is not well controlled despite usual treatment.
Icosapent ethyl, known as Vazkepa, was accepted as a medicine to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack in patients who are at high risk, are on statins and have raised triglycerides – a type of fat that circulates in the blood.
And dapagliflozin, known as Forxiga, was accepted for the treatment of chronic heart failure.
However, the committee was unable to accept selumetinib, known as Koselugo, for the treatment of plexiform neurofibromas, a type of benign tumour that grows along nerves, in children with a rare condition called neurofibromatosis 1(NF1) as there was uncertainty around its cost-effectiveness.
It was also unable to accept baricitinib (trading as Olumiant) for the treatment of severe alopecia areata, a condition which causes hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body as the SMC said there was uncertainty around its cost-effectiveness in relation to its health benefits.
SMC chairman, Dr Scott Muir, said: “We are very pleased to be able to accept new medicines for patients with heart disease or asthma. These medicines may be useful for patients whose disease is not well managed with the currently available treatments.
“The evidence presented for selumetinib and baricitinib was not strong enough to satisfy the committee that these medicines should be available routinely in NHS Scotland.
“We would welcome resubmissions for these medicines once the companies have had an opportunity to address the uncertainties highlighted by the committee.”
Professor Tom Fardon, honorary professor at the University of Dundee and consultant physician in respiratory medicine at NHS Tayside, welcomed the news about the treatment for asthma.
He said: “Tezepelumab has the potential to treat a broad population of patients as a first-in-class biologic treatment for severe asthma, affecting multiple steps in the inflammatory cascade, demonstrating efficacy across multiple phenotypes.
“Today’s acceptance by the SMC for restricted use importantly widens access for biologic treatment to more patients in Scotland.”
Dapagliflozin was previously accepted for patients with heart failure and a “reduced ejection fraction”, which happens when the muscle of the left ventricle is not pumping normally.
The SMC decision extends the use of dapagliflozin to patients who have symptoms of heart failure and a “preserved ejection fraction”, which happens when the heart pumps normally but is too stiff to fill properly.
AstraZeneca estimates that more than 27,000 patients may potentially be eligible for treatment in Scotland as a result of the decisions on its medicines tezepelumab and dapagliflozin.
Tom Keith-Roach, president of AstraZeneca UK, said: “We are pleased that the SMC has now accepted dapagliflozin for use in patients with chronic heart failure with preserved or mildly reduced ejection fraction and tezepelumab has been accepted for restricted use in severe asthma within NHS Scotland.
“We’re now committed to working with NHS Scotland at all levels to ensure that appropriate patients have access to these medicines in day-to-day medical practice as soon as possible.”