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Published on 10 August 2011

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NICE asks for more information on JIA drug

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has asked for more information from the manufacturer of tocilizumab, a drug for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

NICE has opened its public consultation on tocilizumab (RoActemra, Roche Products) for treating JIA in children and young people aged two years and older, where specific previous treatments have not produced an adequate response.

Systemic JIA may start with symptoms such as a fever or rash, with joints eventually becoming swollen and inflamed. It can affect children of any age causing severe pain and difficulties in their everyday life.

NICE’s independent appraisal committee is requesting that the manufacturer provides a range of detailed information on tocilizumab, when it’s used in treating systemic JIA where the individual’s condition has responded inadequately to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), systemic corticosteroids and methotrexate.

The data requested includes analysis of tocilizumab compared with other drugs commonly used to treat systemic JIA, data about joint damage for patients receiving tocilizumab including long-term follow-up, and a revised model.

The draft guidance does not recommend tocilizumab in this patient group where methotrexate has not yet been tried, but NSAIDs and systemic corticosteroids have already been used. NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS.

Professor Carole Longson, Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director at NICE said:

“Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis causes severe pain, fatigue and disability, impacting significantly on the child’s family and school life, as well as their physical and emotional well-being.

“The Committee needs more information from the manufacturer so that it can fully assess the benefits that tocilizumab might provide for those young patients whose condition has not responded well after trying other treatments.

“In the meantime, we welcome comments from patients and their carers and families, and clinicians, as part of our public consultation on the Committee’s provisional recommendations.”

The consultation is open until 5pm on 1 September.

NICE



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