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Final NICE ‘no’ for J&J’s Stelara in psoriatic arthritis

Committee says drug is more expensive and less effective than TNF alpha inhibitors
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE logo

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has received a near definitive rejection for the use of its drug Stelara in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis on the NHS in England and Wales.

The National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) published final draft guidance that says Stelara (ustekinumab) is not a cost-effective option compared to existing treatments available for the inflammatory condition.

Of particular note for the NICE committee that made the decision was data which suggested that Stelara was more expensive and less effective than a class of treatment known as TNF alpha inhibitors.

These include the likes of another J&J treatment Remicade (infliximab), AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) and Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept), all of which are recommended by NICE for use in psoriatic arthritis as part of guidance published in 2010.

“While recognising the severity of the disease, the committee concluded that ustekinumab could not be considered a good use of NHS resources,” said NICE's chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon.

The news puts a dent in J&J's ambitions for Stelara, which received EU approval last summer to treat psoriatic arthritis, adding to its existing indication in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, for which it received a recommendation from NICE in 2009.

With these two indications Stelara has emerged as one of J&J's most promising new launches, helping to drive strong sales growth for J&J during 2013.

The final draft NICE guidance for psoriatic arthritis is now up for consultation, during which time J&J can appeal the decision. Until then NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.

Article by
Thomas Meek

31st March 2014

From: Sales

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