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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Arthritis drug approved for NHS
Hands
Arthritis affects the joints
Patients with a severe form of arthritis will get a new treatment on the NHS in Scotland, it has been announced.

Hundreds of people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis may benefit from a treatment called Enbrel, one of the first of a new breed of genetic drugs.

Until now the treatment has been denied on price grounds, as it costs 8,000 per person per year.

Previous treatments have had severe side effects, including cancer.

Enbrel was accepted for use against progressive psoriatic arthritis in adults after consideration by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.

A spokesman said: "It is the first drug to be licensed for this indication and not only improves symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis, but may slow the progression of joint damage (at least over a period of one year)."

The Scottish Medicines Consortium advises NHS boards and area drug and therapeutic committees in Scotland about the use of all newly licensed medicines.

It also studies new formulations of existing medicines and any major new developments in established products.


SEE ALSO:
Drugs cut severe arthritis pain
18 Jun 04  |  Health
Rheumatoid arthritis 'ignored'
06 Aug 03  |  Health


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