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AbbVie receives extended SMC recommendation for Rinvoq in rheumatoid arthritis patients

In Scotland, there are around 44,000 people living with the progressive autoimmune disease


AbbVie’s Rinvoq (upadacitinib) has been accepted by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) as a treatment for moderate-to-severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The recommendation is specifically for adult patients who have responded inadequately to, or who are intolerant to, one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Rinvoq has been recommended for restricted use in adults diagnosed with moderate disease when intensive therapy with two or more conventional DMARDs has not controlled the disease adequately. Upadacitinib may be used as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate (MTX).

Rinvoq, a janus kinase inhibitor (JAKi), is a once-daily oral therapy and can be used as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate. The treatment was previously reimbursed by the SMC for those with severe RA.

The SMC has now extended this to those with moderate RA, meaning more RA patients in Scotland can now benefit from the treatment.

The Consortium based its decision for approval on data taken from the phase 3 SELECT programme. The pivotal trial showed Rinvoq improved clinical remission rates compared to treatment with placebo, MTX monotherapy and adalimumab plus MTX in patients with moderate-to-severe RA.

Martin Perry, rheumatology specialty advisor, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “This is a welcome decision from the Scottish Medicines Consortium which means another treatment option will be available for those with moderate RA in Scotland, where there is currently a treatment gap, and should produce increased rates of disease remission for RA patients in Scotland.”

A progressive autoimmune disease, RA sees the immune system attacking the lining of the joints, which leads to inflammation and symptoms such as pain, fatigue and stiffness. Typically, most patients develop RA between the age of 40 and 60, but the condition can affect people of any age.

In Scotland, there are around 44,000 people living with the disease for which there is currently no cure, though treatment advances have made clinical remission a reality for RA patients.

Only around 26% of UK patients are currently in remission, which can reduce disability and improve quality of life.

“Thousands of people are still significantly impacted by RA despite currently available treatments,” said Belinda Byrne, medical director at AbbVie UK.

“We very much welcome this decision from the SMC, which has enabled us to make upadacitinib available in Scotland as an additional option for people with moderate RA and continue our dedication to improving the lives of patients.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

13th December 2022

From: Research, Regulatory



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