Pill to fight hot flushes approved for use in UK

Fezolinetant, which is sold under the brand name Veoza, is a daily pill that regulates a receptor in the area of the brain which releases hormones controlling body temperature.

Endocrinologist Professor Annice Mukherjee, of manufacturer Astellas, said: “Veoza reduces flushes and sweats within a few days by directly targeting the menopause flush/sweat mechanism. It doesn’t work through oestrogen and is well tolerated.

“Menopause can be very disruptive to women, affecting sleep, mood and energy. Veoza will give women another much-needed option for the treatment of Vasomotor symptoms [hot flushes and night sweats].”

The drug has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the European Commission Decision Reliance Route.

This is when a pharmaceutical company references a decision made by the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for human use in its application.

The MHRA considers the application using the EMA as a reference, but still makes the final decision. Julian Beach, of the MHRA, said: “Hot flushes and night sweats caused by menopause are common, and can have a significant impact on a woman’s daily life.

No medicine would be approved unless it met our expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness and we continue to keep the safety of all medicines under close review.”

Veoza was also given the green light by the US Food and Drug Administration in May. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is expected to begin an appraisal of the drug in July next year.

The process had been set to begin this month but the timeline was revised following a request from drug maker Astellas.

It comes after Nice recommended the NHS should use cognitive behaviour therapy instead of, or alongside, hormone replacement therapy to combat certain menopause symptoms, including hot flushes.

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