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NICE backs Pfizer’s Xeljanz for RA

But UK’s cost-effectiveness watchdog removes two drugs from CDF

XeljanzPfizer is celebrating a positive recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate), a new treatment option for patients with a severe, active form of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Given in combination with methotrexate, the twice-daily administered drug is recommended for adults whose disease hasn’t responded adequately to intensive therapy with conventional or other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Additionally, the drug can also be used as a monotherapy in cases of patient intolerance to methotrexate, or when treatment with methotrexate is inappropriate.

Paul Mason, head of immunology and inflammation UK, Pfizer, said: “At Pfizer, we are committed to improving the lives of people with chronic conditions and are pleased to be able to offer this new, oral treatment option to people with severe rheumatoid arthritis through the National Health Service.”

According to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, the chronic autoimmune disease - in which the immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue - affects more than 690,000 people in the UK alone.

Mason added: “We are delighted with the final recommendation issued by NICE for tofacitinib citrate.”

Meanwhile, NICE has decided to remove Bayer’s gastrointestinal stomach tumour (GIST) treatment Stivarga (regorafenib) from the cancer drugs fund (CDF) to make it routinely available to some patients on the NHS.

The recommendation comes after Bayer’s offer of a discount for the drug via a patient access scheme, coupled with evidence of an improved progression-free survival rate by more than nine months.

Roche’s Erivedge (vismodegib) - which was made available via the old CDF in 2013 - is also set to be cut from the scheme, but patients who are currently receiving the drug will be able to continue treatment.

The UK’s cost effectiveness agency hasn’t released a formal statement, but it has suggested that the rejection is due to an unclear clinical benefit combined with a high cost.

Article by
Gemma Jones

13th October 2017

From: Regulatory

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