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Southampton Health Technology Assessments CentreNews

Nintedanib for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: NICE guidance now available

Published: 29 January 2016
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a serious and difficult to manage lung disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance to the health service on the use of the drug nintedanib for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, informed by a report produced by SHTAC.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious and difficult to manage lung disease, the exact cause of which is not known. It generally affects people over 60 years of age and the main symptom is shortness of breath, which can have a considerable impact on day to day life. IPF was once thought to progress at a steady, predictable rate, but this is often not the case. Many people with IPF deteriorate rapidly, while others have periods of relative stability. In general people with the disease survive between two to five years. The aim of treatment is to reduce symptoms and improve survival.

Nintedanib (Ofev, Boehringer Ingelheim) is an orally administered drug that targets three growth factor receptors involved in pulmonary fibrosis. Nintedanib is thought to block the signalling pathways involved in fibrotic processes, and may reduce disease progression by slowing the decline of lung function.

NICE’s guidance is that nintedanib can be used as an option for treating IPF, with the following restrictions: the person must have lung function, as measured by forced vital capacity, of between 50% and 80% of predicted (indicating moderate severity of IPF); the drug manufacturer provides nintedanib with the price discount agreed with the Department of Health in the patient access scheme; and treatment is stopped if IPF progresses (a confirmed decline in percent predicted forced vital capacity of 10% or more) in any 12‑month period.

NICE’s guidance is informed by an evidence review group report prepared by SHTAC, which critically appraised the drug company’s submission to NICE’s Single Technology Appraisal process.

For more information on SHTAC's research into IPF and other respiratory diseases please visit our Research page.


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