NICE recommend several treatment options for moderate arthritis

NICE have published final draft guidance, recommending several treatment options for around 25,000 people with moderate rheumatoid arthritis, who were unresponsive to conventional therapies.

The treatments recommended for use in the NHS are adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab, taken with methotrexate. These treatments can also be used for monotherapy when methotrexate is too risky or not tolerated.

Previous NICE guidance only suggested treatments for severe rheumatoid arthritis. The change comes as other biosimilars have become available, making these treatments available at a lower price in the NHS.

The clinical trials showed that this treatment produced similar benefits for those with moderate rheumatoid arthritis compared to those with a severe version. Adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab - after 2 or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic’s (DMARDs) - are now recommended as being cost-effective for use in the NHS for treating moderate rheumatoid arthritis.

Meindert Boysen, Deputy Chief executive and Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE said: “I am delighted that we are able to recommend additional treatment options for people with moderate rheumatoid arthritis whose disease hasn’t responded to conventional treatments.

“These recommendations come after a pragmatic review of existing guidance in response to the availability of biosimilars in the NHS. We are pleased that the introduction of biosimilars has lowered overall costs of treatment, allowing our independent committee to recommend biological treatment for more people with rheumatoid arthritis so they can enjoy a better quality of life.”

The guidance only recommends the use of these treatments if intensive therapy with two or more conventional DMARDS, have not controlled the disease. To continue to control costs, and taking into consideration administration costs, dose needed, and product price per dose – treatments should be provided at the same or lower price, than agreed with the Commercial Medicines Unit. The guidance also states that if more than one treatment is suitable, treatment should be started with the least expensive drug.

NHE May/June 22

NHE May/June 22

Developing a high-quality NHS estate

The new edition of NHE’s e-magazine highlights the latest in cyber security, pharmaceuticals, NHS workforce, NHS Estates, driving innovation in procurement and more with articles from the likes of Brendan Griffin-Ryan, Senior Category Manager, Estates & Facilities, NHS SBS (pg79), West London NHS Trust and Health Education England.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all