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NICE backs four treatments for juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Includes BMS' Orencia and AbbVie's Humira

NICE has recommended four drugs in draft guidance for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

The institute backed Bristol-Myers Squibb's Orencia (abatacept), AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab), Pfizer's Enbrel (etanercept) and Roche's RoActemra (tocilizumab). 

All drugs are disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which work by reducing or stopping joint damage.

Carole Longson, NICE health technology evaluation centre director, said: “Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a progressive degenerative condition that not only affects the quality of life of the child or young person with the disease, but can also affect the life of their carers and family.

“The committee heard there is a link between the length of the time the disease remains uncontrolled and the amount of joint damage and growth impairment. They also heard that being able to access effective treatments at an early stage of the disease can help improve long-term outcomes.”

There are currently around 10,000 people with JIA and the condition can have a dramatic impact on a person's ability to perform day-today activities and impair their personal and social functioning and development.

Children and teenagers with JIA often miss out on schooling and other activities and also may be limited in their ability to work. In more severe cases JIA can lead to growth impairment, joint contractures and joint replacements.

Although treatment for the condition has improved, around a third of children with JIA will not achieve remission but will still require care through to their adult years.

The draft guidance is now with consultees, who may appeal against it before NICE gives its final guidance, due to be issued in February 2016. 

Article by
Nikhil Patel

23rd October 2015

From: Regulatory



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