NICE Issues Final Draft Guidance on Expanding Access to Arthritis Treatments
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released final draft guidance recommending that the National Health Services offer several treatments for patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis.
NICE recommended the biologics adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab, when taken with methotrexate, but added that adalimumab and etanercept can be taken as monotherapy if methotrexate is contraindicated for certain patients.
Previously, the drugs were only available for patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis, due to cost concerns, but the influx of biosimilars to the market means the treatments can now be offered at reduced prices.
The new recommendation would affect an estimated 25,000 individuals in the UK with moderate rheumatoid arthritis, NICE said.