18 Jun 2015 Posted in News Release By Press Office
The ABPI welcomes today’s publication of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) draft multiple technology appraisal (MTA) appraisal consultation document for rheumatoid arthritis which provisionally recommends continued access to biologic medicines for patients living with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
People living with rheumatoid arthritis in the UK have relatively poor access to biologic medicines when compared to other European countries that have less stringent eligibility requirements.1 The 2009 National Audit Office report Services for people with rheumatoid arthritis estimated that the prevalence of patients on biological medicines was approximately 6% in the UK whereas other European countries such as Spain, France, Netherlands, and Sweden ranged between 8–12%.2
Commenting on this decision, Paul Catchpole ABPI’s Director of Value and Access said: ”I am heartened to see the NICE recommendation to maintain current levels of access to these highly effective treatments for the management of what can be a seriously debilitating disease. We would most certainly wish to see this decision finalised and access to these medicines fully implemented for all eligible patients living with severe rheumatoid arthritis.”
The ABPI does have concerns regarding the processes and methodology undertaken during this lengthy review and would have liked to have seen NICE increase access to these medicines for more patients. Since 2002, NICE has recommended the use of DMARDs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with DAS283 scores of 5.1 and above who have failed at least two previous DMARDs. This guidance is amongst the most restrictive in Europe and we would have liked to see it come down to DAS 3.2 as per Europe & EULAR guidance.
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
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