The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has recommended Latuda (lurasidone) to treat schizophrenia in adults aged 18 and over within National Health Service (NHS) Wales.
Sunovion’s Latuda demonstrated its efficacy in adult patients with schizophrenia in short and long-term clinical trials.
Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic and disabling mental illness, which impairs the lives of people leading to devastating consequences that not only impact the patient, but also their family, friends and careers and the healthcare system.
Developed originally by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Latuda is an atypical antipsychotic with a high-affinity for dopamine D2, serotonin 5-HT2A and serotonin 5-HT7 receptors where it has antagonistic effects.
In addition, it is a partial agonist at the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and has no appreciable affinity for histamine (H1) or muscarinic (M1) receptors.
London’s King’s College psychopharmacology professor David Taylor said: "The AWMSG decision is welcome news, as there is a need for effective treatments with low metabolic burden to manage the acute symptoms of schizophrenia across the whole country."
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recognised the process used by the AWMSG to produce its final appraisal recommendation.
In October 2014, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) also recommended Latuda to treat schizophrenia in adults aged 18 and over.
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals global health economics and outcomes research vice-president Krithika Rajagopalan said: "We are pleased with the AWMSG recommendation for Latuda as a treatment for use within NHS Wales for adult patients with schizophrenia."
The US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for Latuda to treat schizophrenia in adults in October 2010, while European Medicines Agency (EMA) granted marketing authorisation in March 2014.
The product was launched in the UK during August 2014 and is commercialised by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Europe in the country.