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Janssen sways NICE with Stelara discount

UK health watchdog set to recommend drug in psoriatic arthritis after agreeing patient access scheme
NICE Stelara Janssen

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is set to backtrack on negative guidance for a drug for psoriatic arthritis after agreeing a discount with its manufacturer.

NICE, which provides healthcare guidance for the NHS in England and Wales, issued a recommendation in May this year against extending the use of Janssen's Stelara (ustekinumab) to cover active psoriatic arthritis, a serious, progressive condition that can lead to progressive erosion of the joints.

However, the health watchdog has now issued new draft guidance that recommends the drug in this indication in “certain circumstances”, although only if Janssen provides the drug at a discount through a patient access scheme.

The circumstances required by NICE include if a person with psoriatic arthritis is unable to use one of several drugs already recommended for NHS reimbursement, or if a person has been treated with one or more of these drugs.

The medicines referenced by NICE are Janssen's own Simponi (golimumab) and Remicade (infliximab), AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) and Pfizer's Enbrel (etanercept).

The draft guidance states that if a patient fits into the criteria outline by NICE, and Stelara is provided at the agreed discount through the patient access scheme, then the NHS should fund treatment with the drug.

Final guidance is still pending, however, and until then NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of Stelara.

Peter Barnes, medical director at Janssen's UK subsidiary, said he was “pleased” with the new guidance.

“NICE's decision supports Janssen's view that ustekinumab offers value to the NHS as well as being clinically valuable. We are delighted that patients living with this condition may have access to another treatment option.”

Stelara is already recommended by NICE to treat the skin disease plaque psoriasis.

Article by
Thomas Meek

9th December 2014

From: Sales

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