National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Backs Earlier Use of Roche's Arthritis Therapy RoActemra

Published: Feb 22, 2012

About 24,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis could benefit from a treatment after a watchdog gave it the go-ahead for use on the NHS. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has approved RoActemra (tocilizumab) at an earlier stage in progression of the debilitating disease, meaning thousands more patients in England and Wales could benefit from it every year. The drug is already used by around 1,200 patients at later stages of the disease. The new approval follows a discount scheme agreed between pharmaceutical giant Roche and the Department of Health.

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