UAE approves innovative lung cancer drug

Dubai - The move makes the UAE the second country in the world, after the USA, that approves and licenses the medicine.

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By Saman Haziq

Published: Sat 19 Jun 2021, 12:28 PM

The Ministry of Health and Prevention has recently approved the registration and use of Amgen’s lung cancer drug Lumakras, following the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration. This step will give lung cancer patients in the UAE early access to this innovative drug in order to help speed up their treatment plan and improve the quality of their life.

LUMAKRAS is supplied as film-coated tablets for oral use containing 120 mg of sotorasib. The drug is prescribed to adult patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who have received at least one previous cancer therapy.

The approval of this innovative treatment in the UAE to treat lung cancer as the world's second country comes a week after the UAE has approved the emergency use of a highly effective new treatment for Covid-19, becoming the first country in the world to register the drug following the FDA approval. This would help enhance the competitive position of the UAE in establishing quality and safety for therapeutic, healthcare, and pharmaceutical systems.

This is in line with the UAE Centennial vision, said Dr. Mohammed Salim Al Olama, MoHAP Under-Secretary and Head of Board of Directors of the Emirates Health Services .

Amin Hussein Al Amiri, the Assistant Undersecretary of MoHAP’s Public Health Policy and Licenses pointed out that the ministry is keen to enhance its partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies to make great progress in providing cancer patients with the best means of treatment and healthcare.

This would help mitigate the burden on the healthcare system, reduce the number of critical cases, and provide new therapeutic options that contribute to improving the health of patients with lung cancer and reducing their need for medical treatment abroad.

Al Amiri noted that the approval of new medicines in the UAE runs according to a well-thought-out mechanism for drug evaluation and registration, expressing his pleasure with the outstanding outcomes of the national indicators of cancer disease in line with the UAE National Agenda.

Dr. Ahmed Mostafa, country manager of Amgen in GCC, said: "We are extremely proud of the UAE's approval for Lumakras drug, making it the second country in the world after the USA that approves and licenses the medicine. Lumakras is a unique and unprecedented treatment for patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.”

This comes as part of the UAE's keenness to attract and provide medicines that prove effective and efficient and adopt them as treatment protocols, which greatly contributes to the development of the drug system in accordance with the best international practices.

The medicine registration comes in the wake of the application of MoHAP’s innovative mechanism for its accelerators to evaluate and approve the world’s breakthrough drugs in accordance with the Fast Track/Accelerate Process system.

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