Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis > News > Awareness > APF disappointed with NICE decision to continue discrimination against IPF patients based on lung function tests

APF disappointed with NICE decision to continue discrimination against IPF patients based on lung function tests

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis believes that all patients with IPF should have access to potentially disease modifying therapy and is disappointed that NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) will not change its guidelines and allow the drug pirfenidone to be given to people in the early stages of the disease.

Pirfenidone is licensed by NICE as an option for treating patients with moderate IPF and only if the person has a forced vital capacity (FVC) between 50% and 80% predicted. This decision was under appeal but NICE announced this week that current guidelines would not change.

Karen Hughes, Chair of APF said:

“ We do not believe that discrimination based on lung function is in patients’ best interest. It is disappointing that NICE continue to consider that patients with IPF can be divided into those who should and should not receive an anti-fibrotic therapy based on an arbitrary lung function measure which does not in any way determine or predict whether the drug will or will not be effective for any given patient.

“ As a charity which campaigns on behalf of IPF patients we believe that all patients should have access to potentially disease modifying therapy regardless of their lung function, which unfairly discriminates against patients with milder disease who, potentially, have the greater opportunity for benefit from these drugs.”

Pirfenidone and Nintedanib are currently licensed by NICE for the treatment of some IPF patients. More NICE guidance on these two anti-fibrotic drugs is available here:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta282/chapter/1-guidance

https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/TA379

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