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NICE recommends rheumatoid arthritis drug Jyseleca for NHS use

Published on 21/01/21 at 09:17am

NICE has issued a final appraisal determination (FAD) recommending the use of Jyseleca (filgotinib) on the NHS in England for adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The decision marks the first time in the UK that an advanced therapy has been recommended in people with moderate RA, offering thousands more the chance to achieve remission earlier – potentially slowing the irreversible damage and life-limiting symptoms RA can cause.

More than 400,000 people in the UK live with the degenerative auto-immune disease, which can cause debilitating physical pain, affect mental health, and require chronic care. Studies have shown that RA shortens life expectancy, and nearly 50% of patients diagnosed with RA suffer from mental health issues – with one in six people having a major depressive disorder.

Gilead and Galapagos’ Jyseleca is a daily oral pill that can be given on its own or used alongside methotrexate, another common RA medicine. Eligible patients with moderate or severe RA will have responded inadequately to intensive therapy with two or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and eligible patients with severe disease will also have wider access to filgotinib in line with criteria defined by NICE.

NICE guidance covers England, but Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to follow the guidance with timelines for implementation currently under consideration. Filgotinib will be reviewed separately by the Scottish Medicines Consortium for use on the NHS in Scotland.

Clare Jacklin, Chief Executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “Rheumatoid arthritis is a devastating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people across the UK – young and old. Being able to get the debilitating symptoms under control, and ideally into remission, can be life changing and it is vital that people have the best chance of achieving this before it’s too late and permanent damage is done.

“Today’s decision is a remarkable step forward towards this goal and will allow more people to benefit from advanced therapy earlier in their disease pathway than ever before. For many, this could mean remaining in or getting back to work, fully enjoying family life, or just getting on with simple things that many of us so often take for granted.  Having an opportunity for earlier intervention will lead I hope to many living a life unburdened by RA.”

Darcy Jimenez

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