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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the NICE guidelines are for the use of biologic drugs as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis; and when the NICE Committee will next meet to discuss the use of such drugs as an early treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. [113799]

[holding answer 19 May 2003]: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance on biologic drugs as a treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in March 2002 entitled "Guidance on the use of etanercept and infliximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis". The full guidance can be found on the NICE website at http://www.nice.org.uk/pdf/ RA-PDF.pdf.NICE is due to review the guidance in March 2005. Neither etanercept nor infliximab are licensed for the early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and so will not be considered for this indication.