Further arthritis treatments approved for use on NHS

Two further drug appraisals have been published by NICE - rituximab for the treatment of refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and adalimumab for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriatic arthritis.

Rituximab

  • Rituximab (in combination with methotrexate) is recommended for the treatment of adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis when treatment with other DMARDs, including at least one TNF-a inhibitor, has failed or cannot be tolerated.
  • Treatment should be continued only if there is an adequate response following initiation of therapy. A minimum of six months should be allowed between repeat courses of treatment.

Adalimumab

  • Adalimumab is recommended for the treatment of adults with active and progressive psoriatic arthritis with three or more tender joints and three or more swollen joints when treatment with at least two DMARDs has failed.
  • Treatment should be stopped if response is not adequate at 12 weeks.

The full guidelines are available at www.nice.org.uk.

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