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NICE wants more information about tocilizumab

15th August 2011

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has requested more data about the drug tocilizumab  from its makers Roche.

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NICE said it was not convinced whether the drug has enough positive effects concerning the treatment of children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

In fact, in draft guidance NICE said its appraisal committee was "minded to not recommend the use of tocilizumab" for children with the condition.

The drug reduces joint inflammation, enhancing quality of life and acting to prevent damage to the joints and tissues.

The European Commission gave their approval to the use of the drug in children with the disease aged two years and above.

However, NICE must approve the drug before it can be offered by doctors to patients in England and Wales.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the institute's Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: "The committee needs more information from the manufacturer so that it can fully assess the benefits that tocilizumab might provide for those young patients whose condition has not responded well after trying other treatments.

"In the meantime, we welcome comments from patients and their carers and families, and clinicians, as part of our public consultation on the committee's provisional recommendations." 

 

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