There has been much discussion in the media about the licensing of a new treatment option for vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes and night sweats) by the MHRA earlier this month.  The BMS would like to provide some clarity with regard to this additional treatment option soon to be available to women.

Fezolinetant was licensed by the MHRA on 14 December and it is expected to be available on private prescription from mid-January 2024.  A NICE Technology Appraisal (publication date to be confirmed) is underway to review the clinical and cost effectiveness of fezolinetant; if recommended, it will be available to prescribe on the NHS.

Fezolinetant is a Neurokinin 3 receptor antagonist, licensed to manage vasomotor symptoms, which are the commonest symptoms of menopause that women experience.  Neurokinin antagonist medication influences changes in brain neurotransmitters which regulate the underlying process of vasomotor symptoms via the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Ovarian axis. Symptomatic women are more sensitive to changes in brain neurotransmitters.

For women who are unable to have hormone replacement therapy or who do not want to use it, this class of medication has the potential to revolutionise menopause management.  It is a very exciting advance, offering women more choice in relation to managing severe vasomotor symptoms, which can have a significantly detrimental effect on quality of life.

The cost of the medication is anticipated to be in the region of £45-50 per month but pharmacies are likely to include additional dispensing fees, which are variable.

The UK manufacturer is liaising with the Society for Endocrinology and the “People With” registry to coordinate patient response to this new medication. This “real world data” will add to the existing data from clinical trials, which will help in the process of making this drug available on the NHS, following evaluation by NICE.