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New Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug

An article on the Arthritis Care website posted on the 8th October 2009 looks at the progress and potential of a new drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Launched in the UK by its manufacturers on 8 October 2009. Tocilizumab, (brand name RoActemra) is intended for people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for whom existing treatments do not work.

Although Tocilizumab is not currently widely available on the NHS, it is undergoing appraisal by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Until the appraisal is completed, Tocilizumab can only be prescribed on the NHS at the discretion of a local health board or primary care trust.

To date, the issue of this drug on the NHS does not look promising.  A consultation document issued by NICE on the 1st October 2009 suggests that Tocilizumab is not a cost effective treatment and recommends that it not be made available on the NHS.

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