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NHS Scotland to offer Jyseleca for patients with moderate rheumatoid arthritis

More than 40,000 people in Scotland live with RA and an estimated 35% of those will have moderate disease activity


NHS Scotland will now be able to offer Galapagos Biotech’s Jyseleca (filgotinib) to patients with moderate rheumatoid arthritis (RA), following a recommendation from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

The SMC’s approval of the once-daily, oral, JAK1 preferential inhibitor is specifically for adults who have previously been treated for moderate RA.

The decision broadens access to Jyseleca to the estimated 14,000 people in Scotland who live with the moderate form of the disease. The drug can be administered as a monotherapy or used alongside methotrexate. Those deemed eligible for the treatment with moderate RA will have responded inadequately to intensive therapy with one or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

More than 40,000 people in Scotland live with the degenerative autoimmune disease and an estimated 35% of those will have moderate disease activity. With RA, the sooner a patient’s treatment starts, the better chance there is of delaying disease progression.

As well as causing debilitating physical pain, RA can impact a person’s overall well-being, causing debilitating physical pain, on top of negatively affecting their mental health. Almost 50% of patients diagnosed with RA suffer from mental health issues with one in six people having a major depressive disorder.

Commenting on the news, Clare Jacklin, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), said:  “[This] decision from the SMC is welcome news for many people living with moderate RA in Scotland. This persistent disease not only causes a multitude of physical symptoms, but many also suffer with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

“[This] recommendation could enable more people to get their RA under better control, crucially at an earlier stage of their disease, which has major implications for reducing damage caused by uncontrolled RA. For many, having an effective treatment could mean getting their life back, going back to or remaining in work and enjoying time with family and friends.”

"We are delighted that people living with moderate RA in Scotland will be able to access filgotinib on the NHS – bringing access to this treatment in line with those with severe RA as well as latest guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.” said Emma Chaffin, vice president and country head, Galapagos UK and Ireland.

The SMC also recommended Jyseleca for those with severe RA in September 2021 and the latest guidance, published in October 2022, now supersedes this to include those diagnosed with a moderate form of the disease.

Jyseleca is recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence for the treatment of eligible patients with moderate-to-severe RA, both as a monotherapy and in combination with methotrexate.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

12th October 2022

From: Regulatory, Healthcare



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