NICE pushes Doptelet for pre-surgery liver disease treatment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new final draft guidance recommending Dova Pharmaceuticals’ Doptelet (avatrombopag) for thrombocytopenia - or low platelet count - in people with chronic liver disease needing surgery.


NICE says that the drug will be a “welcome innovative treatment”, as it can be administered at home, ultimately reducing the time spent in hospital. It also helps raise platelet levels for longer compared to platelet transfusions.

As it stands, the list price of the drug is £640.00 per five‑day treatment course for patients with 40,000 to below 50,000 platelets per microlitre of blood, and £960.00 for those with less than 40,000 platelets. Taken orally, the recommended dosage is 40mg or 60 mg once daily respectively.

NICE says that people with chronic liver disease and a count of below 50,000 platelets per microlitre of blood would be eligible for this treatment.

Last year, the therapy received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for the treatment of severe thrombocytopenia.

Liver disease is the third leading cause of premature death in the UK and is soon expected to overtake heart disease as the biggest cause of death in under 65s. Almost 62,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 die each year.

5th March 2020

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