Rheumatoid arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis - Data focused commentaries

Last updated March 2010

Changes/additions to materials: (reviewed 9/9/10):

New NICE guidance

Since these materials were published, NICE has issued guidance on the following:

Rheumatoid arthritis - drugs for treatment after failure of a TNF inhibitor (adalimumab▼, etanercept▼, infliximab, rituximab and abatacept▼). This technology appraisal (TA195) replaces several previous NICE technology appraisals (TA141, TA126 and TA36).
Tocilizumab▼ for rheumatoid arthritis (TA198).
Etanercept▼, infliximab and adalimumab▼ for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. This technology appraisal (TA199) replaces TA125 and TA104.

NICE has published guidance (TA186) recommending certolizumab pegol▼ as an option for the treatment of adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) only if:

• the drug is used in the same way as defined in the NICE TA130 for adalimumab▼, etanercept▼ and infliximab, and
• the manufacturer provides the first 12 weeks of certolizumab pegol▼ free of charge to all patients starting treatment.

More information is contained in the On the Horizon Stop Press No. 1135.

We have produced data-focused commentaries to highlight areas where there appear to be differences between the evidence-base, as described elsewhere on this website, and current clinical practice. These resources can be read on the screen by clicking on or by downloading and printing the 'PDF' version.

This commentary discusses English prescribing data relating to the use of DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), and highlights key points for prescribers and commissioners relating to other drugs used in RA. English prescribing data relating to NSAIDs (including coxibs) is discussed on the musculoskeletal pain section of this website.

Download a copy of the rheumatoid arthritis data focused commentary

Data focused commentaries are written in the context of careful consideration of the available evidence. There are limits to the interpretation of data and assuming it is a true reflection of clinical practice. Nevertheless, we regard the issues represented within data focused commentaries as being legitimate issues for debate.