NICE rules out RA drug abatacept

The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug abatacept is too expensive to be prescribed on the NHS, according to NICE.

In a draft single technology appraisal of the drug, released last week, NICE said abatacept was as effective as the other cytokine inhibitor rituximab for RA, but cost twice as much.

Rituximab was recently approved for use with methotrexate in RA patients who failed to respond to other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

A NICE spokesman said: 'While recognising the severity of RA, it was concluded that based on this evidence, abatacept could not be considered good use of NHS resources.'

Chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society Ailsa Bosworth said: 'To deny patients abatacept is to deny people with an aggressive and severe form of RA a chance of controlling the disease.'

Last week NICE issued final guidance on the use of tumour necrosis factor alpha blockers for RA. Adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab are recommended in patients with confirmed active RA who have already been trialled with at least two other DMARDs, including methotrexate.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Health secretary has 'overplayed his hand' on remote consultation benefits, RCGP chair warns

Health secretary has 'overplayed his hand' on remote consultation benefits, RCGP chair warns

Health secretary Matt Hancock has ‘overplayed his hand’ by pushing for total use...

GMC defers revalidation for a further 9,000 doctors due to pandemic

GMC defers revalidation for a further 9,000 doctors due to pandemic

Around 9,000 doctors who are due to revalidate between March and July 2021 will have...

NHS England praises GPs after steep rise in general practice appointments

NHS England praises GPs after steep rise in general practice appointments

NHS England primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani has thanked GPs and their...

Half of GPs say patients harmed by delays to care during COVID-19 pandemic

Half of GPs say patients harmed by delays to care during COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly half of GPs say patients on their list have come to harm because of delays...

Viewpoint: Test and trace isn't working - could GPs do it better?

Viewpoint: Test and trace isn't working - could GPs do it better?

The outsourced test and trace system isn't working, says Dr Simon Hodes. It's time...

Doctors call for test and trace millions to be diverted to primary care and local NHS

Doctors call for test and trace millions to be diverted to primary care and local NHS

Doctors have urged the government to divert hundreds of millions of pounds from the...