British Society for Rheumatology disappointed at missed opportunity by not enabling clinicians to prescribe biologic drugs

The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) today released the Final Appraisal Document (FAD) on biologic DMARDS* used in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for public consultation.
The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) remains fully supportive of the continuing availability of these drugs for patients with severe disease. We are though extremely disappointed that NICE, despite the evidence, has missed the opportunity to enable clinicians to prescribe biologic drugs to people with moderate RA; this group of patients experience the same painful and debilitating symptoms of RA. Allowing those with moderate disease who have the worst prognosis to access treatment would bring the UK more in line with other European countries; it is therefore regrettable that the UK continues to be an outlier. Access to appropriate treatment at the right time would drastically reduce the long term impact of disease on these people enabling them to live fuller and more independent lives.
Professor Simon Bowman, President BSR said – ‘’Great strides have been made by clinicians over recent years through the availability of these effective drug treatments for many patients. However, the clinical community remains frustrated that in this country we still fall behind particularly other European countries even though there is good evidence to support prescribing biologic drugs for those with moderate disease”.

See NICE draft guidance