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NICE backs three ulcerative colitis treatments

Remicade, Simponi and Humira recommended for NHS reimbursement
MSD Simponi

Simponi is one of three treatments recommended by NICE to treat adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis patients in England are set to have access to three new treatments on the NHS.

Healthcare guidance body the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued final guidance recommending Remicade (infliximab), Humira (adalimumab) and Simponi (golimumab) as cost-effective options for treating moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis, a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed.

Each recommendation covers the use of the drug in in adults whose disease has responded inadequately to conventional therapy including corticosteroids and mercaptopurine or azathioprine, or who cannot tolerate these therapies.

The guidance is good news for the pharma companies MSD, which markets Remicade and Simponi, and AbbVie, which markets Humira, as it overturns previous negative guidance for the trio issued by NICE in September this year.

This was despite MSD agreeing a patient access scheme to provide its drugs at a discount, with NICE 's Carole Longson stating at the time that it had requested more information from each manufacturer to support a positive recommendation.

MSD and AbbVie have since responded to this request during a consultation period and each drug is now on course for routine NHS reimbursement.

The decision is significant for people with ulcerative colitis as it is the first time a biologic therapy has been recommended for people with a moderate form of the condition when previously only those hospitalised with severe ulcerative colitis had access to these treatments.

Helen Terry, director of policy at the charity Crohn's and Colitis UK, said: “We know that these drugs can be life-transforming for people who live with these extremely debilitating symptoms, and who have had problems or no success with other treatments and may be facing surgery.  We very much welcome this landmark decision.”

In addition to its recommendation in adults with ulcerative colitis MSD's Remicade was also recommendation as an option for treating severely active ulcerative colitis in children and young people aged 6-17 years whose disease has responded inadequately to conventional therapy.

It is the first time that children with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis have been granted access to a biological therapy in the UK.

Article by
Thomas Meek

19th December 2014

From: Sales

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