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RoActemra has been recommended for use on the NHS in England and Wales PDF Print Email

Roche’s RoActemra has been recommended for use on the NHS in England and Wales as a second-line treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

 

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) decided the medication is a cost-effective use of resources to treat patients with RA, in combination with methotrexate, for whom treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs has been ineffective.

 

Previously, RoActemra had only been available for people with RA as a third-line treatment option if DMARDs had been ineffective, and if patients had also both demonstrated an inadequate response to one or more TNF inhibitors and could not take another Roche drug, MabThera (rituximab).


The recommendation is based on a patient access scheme agreed between Roche and the UK’s Department of Health, offering RoActemra at a discounted rate. Details of the access scheme are confidential, although the usual annual acquisition cost of the drug per year for an average-sized patient would be £9,295.


A similar scheme was agreed between Roche and the DH regarding RoActemra’s use as a treatment for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In that setting the drug is available on the NHS with a discount provided by Roche, but only if other treatments have not produced an adequate response.

 

According to NICE, the number of people that might be able to use RoActemra will be just 10 per cent of the 400,000 people in the England and Wales who are thought to have the condition.
Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “This decision is most welcome as it is vital that patients have effective options available as soon as one treatment approach fails.”