Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers will receive the first 12 weeks of a new treatment free of charge under a Government scheme, the drug’s manufacturer has announced.
UCB Pharma made the announcement following the publication of final guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on their new drug – certolizumab pegol – otherwise known as Cimzia.
The free trials have been facilitated by the Department of Health and will provide sufferers with a 12 week course of treatment on the NHS following approval over its efficacy and cost effectiveness.
Some 580,000 people in England and Wales have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which causes stiff, swollen and painful joints and in some cases, severe disability.
The new treatment has been recommended for the same use as other TNF (tumour necrosis factor) inhibitors such as adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab.
Dr Carole Longson, director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: “The recommendations have been facilitated by the positive response of the manufacturer in providing more detailed information on the clinical and cost effectiveness of its treatment, and by offering the patient access scheme.”
Copyright Press Association 2010