We are very pleased indeed to announce today that much of our appeal against NICE’s (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) decision to restrict availability of immunosuppressant drugs has been upheld on the basis that it was not clear whether the guidance applied to acute or chronic rejection, or further transplants. NICE’s multiple technology appraisal had decided not to recommend 6 out of the 9 currently used drugs used to prevent a kidney transplant from rejection. As a result of our and others appeals this decision will now NOT be going ahead. We are especially pleased that our significant contribution meant that 5 of our appeal points were accepted (4 fully and 1 in part).
The BKPA has been working very hard since August 2015 to demonstrate to NICE that its intention not to recommend the drugs is harmful and would have a major impact on kidney patients. We submitted 2 written appeals, and our patient representatives appeared at both evidence sessions. We briefed a number of MPs and received inadequate answers to the parliamentary questions we raised (link to PQ document). However the matter reached oral appeal on 30th March and this was the oral evidence that we gave at the appeal (link to appeal document). We worked with patient representatives and our clinical colleagues in order to achieve this important result. From the charity, Policy Director Fiona Loud, Head of Patient Support Services Nick Palmer and Patient Advisory Group member Dr Patrizia Hodge gave the verbal appeal. Our successful appeal points were based on the lack of alternatives for patients with rejection, the additional costs of dialysis for more failed transplants and the reduced quality of life and mortality for people who lost their transplants. We were fully successful on points 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 in the appeal and partially successful on point 2.11. The full text is here (link to appeal response letter) The complete judgement will be available on the NICE website shortly.
By working closely with patients, colleagues and clinicians the kidney community has once again shown its strength and unity in overturning a decision which was not in patients' interests. Thank you from all at the BKPA, working every day to improve quality of life for all kidney patients.