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NICE recommends psoriatic arthritis drug for NHS use

20:00 EDT 7 Jun 2015 | Arthritis Research UK

A new psoriatic arthritis therapy for use within the NHS has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in a reversal of their previous decision.

Final guidance from the regulator has been issued recommending ustekinumab (brand name Stelara) for use either alone or in combination with methotrexate for treating active psoriatic arthritis in adults where anti-TNFs have already been used, or if the use of these drugs would be contraindicated.

This represents a reversal on a previous technology appraisal guidance statement, issued by NICE last month, which did not recommend the drug. However, the regulator has been persuaded to change its mind after manufacturer Janssen agreed to introduce a patient access scheme to make the product more cost-effective for the NHS.

It joins a range of anti-TNF therapies that have already been approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis by NICE in the UK, including golimumab, adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab.

Ustekinumab is a monoclonal antibody that works by blocking the action of interleukin-12 and interleukin-23, proteins produced by white blood cells to regulate immune responses.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE, said: "This guidance resulting from the rapid review of TA313 now recommends that ustekinumab could be a treatment option for people who are unable to use the drugs that NICE has already recommended, or who have already had treatment with one or more of those drugs. This applies if the company provides the drug as agreed in the patient access scheme."

A spokesman for Arthritis Research UK said NICE's change of heart represents good news for people with psoriatic arthritis, as it gives them access to a greater choice of effective drugs.

Original Article: NICE recommends psoriatic arthritis drug for NHS use

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