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Nice refuses to recommend arthritis drug

Nice refuses to recommend arthritis drug
24th April 2008

Campaigners have been angered by a health watchdog's decision not to recommend a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has deemed abatacept not good value for money, for people with a severe form of the condition, due to its £9,000 per year cost, reports the BBC.

Drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb has countered this argument by saying that 3,500 patients throughout the UK could have benefited from the medication.

Dr Andrew Bamji, the president of the British Society for Rheumatology, told the news provider, that the decision was "disappointing".

"Nice is effectively denying desperate patients any last hope of remission from their disease. This decision is like a kick in the teeth for a group of severely disabled patients," he added.

This follows news that drug maker Eisai is taking Nice to the court of appeal over its decision to deny people with early Alzheimer's access to the drug aricept.

A decision is expected next month.

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