NICE recommends widening choice of biological drugs for patients with rheumatoid arthritis

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 29 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3477
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be offered treatment with rituximab, a drug that depletes B cells, or with the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, or abatacept, after previous treatment (including at least one TNF inhibitor) has failed, says final draft guidance published by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). This overturns previous guidance limiting patients to only one course of TNF inhibitor.

    Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs may be classified as conventional (such as methotrexate or sulfasalazine) or biological, which includes the TNF inhibitors and rituximab.

    The latest guidance recommends rituximab, in combination with methotrexate, as an option for adults with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to or who are intolerant of other disease modifying drugs, including …

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