UK Agency Rejects Spravato (Esketamine) Nasal Spray

UK Health Technology Assessment body raised questions over the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the drug.

February 2020

In a draft guideline report, The UK-based Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Agency, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), decided not to recommend Spravato (esketamine) for integration into the UK health system.

NICE expressed uncertainties over Spravato’s clinical and cost-effectiveness. Data from clinical trials demonstrated that the drug given in combination with an oral antidepressant might be more effective at alleviating the symptoms of depression than a placebo and an oral antidepressant given together. However, NICE claimed that the advantage Spravato may have over other treatments – such as different oral antidepressants with antipsychotics or adjunctive lithium therapy – is uncertain because these treatments have not been compared directly.