NICE rejects arthritis drug in draft advice

Golimumab has not been recommended for use in treating psoriatic arthritis, under draft guidance issued by NICE.

Psoriatic arthritis  (Photograph: SPL)
Psoriatic arthritis (Photograph: SPL)

The drug is licensed for use alone, or in combination with methotrexate, for active and progressive psoriatic arthritis in adult patients when previous therapy has been inadequate.

It is also licensed for limited use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

NICE has made the recommendation because research shows golimumab is not more cost-effective than other available options. A spokesman said: 'NICE recommends adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis in people with peripheral arthritis. The cost-effectiveness analyses found that golimumab was not the most cost-effective of the available options currently recommended by NICE.'

A secondary reason for the advice was uncertainty about possible side-effects of the drug, as a long-term follow-up on adverse outcomes is ongoing.

The spokesman added that economic modelling based on evidence about golimumab had shown the drug may be less cost-effective than etanercept, and 'could not be considered a good use of NHS resources'.

The drug's manufacturer MSD said: 'MSD strongly believes that any restrictions on access to this treatment would inhibit patient choice for the treatment of this disabling and chronic disease.'

The draft guidance is open to consultation.

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