NICE rejects asthma drug for under-12s

NICE has rejected asthma drug omalizumab (Xolair) for children under the age of 12 in the NHS in England and issued guidance on fracture prevention, bed-wetting treatments and the diabetes drug liraglutide.

Omalizumab is recommended for some over-12s, but NICE said that the evidence for use in younger children suggested the drug offered limited benefits over other treatments. The extra cost of the drug would not therefore represent good value for money, it concluded.

But the guidance states that children currently receiving omalizumab should be able to continue with the treatment until it is considered appropriate to stop.

This week the institute recommended denosumab (Prolia) as a treatment option for some postmenopausal women at increased risk of osteoporotic fractures if other treatments available on the NHS are unsuitable.

NICE has also published the first national guidance on how to treat children and young people who wet the bed. In a change to current clinical practice, the institute has not specified a minimum age limit in its new clinical guideline on the assessment and management of this condition.

The institute said the new recommendations meant healthcare professionals would now be more likely to consider whether younger children may benefit from appropriate advice and treatments currently available on the NHS.

NICE has issued final guidance approving the use of the drug liraglutide for certain diabetes patients. PCTs must now fund the drug for eligible patients recommended for treatment with it by their clinicians. Draft guidance on liraglutide was issued in September. The final guidance setting out which patients are eligible for treatment is available on the NICE website.

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