Scotland approves psoriatic arthritis drug

GPs in Scotland can now prescribe golimumab for treating psoriatic arthritis on the NHS after it was approved by the country's drugs watchdog.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium ruled that the drug can be used alone or in combination with methotrexate.

But its use is restricted to patients in whom treatment with at least two other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or NSAIDs has failed to alleviate symptoms. Doses must be restricted to 50mg.

Evidence reviewed by the watchdog found golimumab was cost effective at this dose. A study showed it outperformed placebo at reducing symptoms. Side-effects were similar to placebo and included nasopharyngitis and URTI.

NICE approved the drug for the same indication in April 2011.

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