The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England’s health technology assessment body, has recommended eluxadoline (Truberzi, Allergan) to be funded on the NHS to treat patients with irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea (IBS-D) in secondary care.
The drug, which costs around £1.58 per tablet, is taken twice daily and works by binding to specific receptors in the digestive system to slow down the movement of food through the gut. As a result, it helps relieve stomach cramps and the urgent need to defecate along with the associated anxiety and negative impact on daily life.
“Truberzi addresses multiple symptoms of IBS-D and works in a different way compared to existing treatments,” says Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE.
“The committee heard that having this treatment available when others no longer work will be welcomed by patients,” she adds.
Eluxadoline will be available for patients alongside existing drugs and psychological treatments for IBS-D, however NICE has recommended that it be offered only in secondary care and providing it is stopped after four weeks if there is inadequate relief of the symptoms.
The final appraisal determination for Eluxadoline is open for appeal until 10 August 2017.