1. October 2009 16:57
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has described the NICE preliminary guidance on Tocilizumab as “another bitter blow” for people with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
The Institute issued a preliminary Appraisal Consultation Document on 1st October recommending that tocilizumab (RoActemra) should not be prescribed on the NHS for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive of NRAS described the decision as a “potential step backwards in the management of the condition” if it is not reversed.
She said: “The guidance recommends denying our most severely ill rheumatoid arthritis sufferers one less vital step in their treatment pathway. We simply cannot accept that individuals should be denied the chance of at least regaining some quality of life and condemning them to a life of pain and disability, which could be as or even more expensive to the NHS as well as society as a whole if people, as a consequence of not being able to access clinically effective therapies, lose their jobs.”
NRAS Medical Advisor, Prof. Peter C. Taylor, added: “Not only is this appalling news for patients and the Health Professionals who treat them, but it is sending a clear message to the companies who are currently investing in innovative medical research programmes into inflammatory forms of arthritis that the UK market is becoming less relevant. This is hugely detrimental to UK PLC.”
The preliminary guidance is now open for consultation until the 22nd October and the second appraisal committee meeting will be held on 11th November.