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NICE has recommended a combination of updacitinib and methotrexate as an option to treat moderate active rheumatoid arthritis in adults, who responded inadequately to two or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

This would allow around 18,500 people in England to have access to a new treatment.

Upadacitinib, also called Rinvoq made by AbbVie, is a class of drug called a biological DMARD.

Citing clinical trial evidence, NICE guidance suggested “upadacitinib plus conventional DMARDs (including methotrexate) is more effective than placebo plus conventional DMARDs for treating moderate disease that has not responded well enough to conventional DMARDs.”

It also suggested that upadacitinib alone is more effective than methotrexate.

The guidance further added that using upadacitinib is cost effective as well.

Upadacitinib costs £805.56 per 28‑day pack at its list price and the average cost for each patient per year is estimated at £10,508.

Moreover, the maker has agreed a commercially confidential discount to the price of upadacitinib.

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