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NICE backs treatment for severe Crohn’s disease

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A drug to treat Crohn’s disease has been recommended for routine NHS funding by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

In final draft guidance, NICE said vedolizumab (Entyvio) can be considered as an option to treat people with moderate to severely active Crohn’s disease when they have not responded well to previous treatments or it has stopped working.

Professor Carole Longson, director of NICE’s Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said: “After considering further information, NICE is happy to be able to recommend vedolizumab as a treatment option for those with Crohn’s disease. 

“We hope the recommendation will benefit tens of thousands of people who live with this debilitating condition,” she said.

She noted that there were around 115,000 people in the UK living with the long-term condition that causes inflammation of the wall of the digestive system.

“NICE is happy to be able to recommend vedolizumab as a treatment option for those with Crohn’s disease”

Carole Longson

The draft guidance also said that patients receiving vedolizumab for Crohn’s disease should be reassessed after 12 months and that treatment should only continue if it is still justified as both clinically and cost effective.

The final appraisal document was published by NICE today. Final guidance for the NHS about the use of vedolizumab is expected to be published by NICE later this year.

Vedolizumab is recommended as an option for treating moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease if a tumour necrosis factor alpha inhibitor has failed or a TNF-alpha inhibitor cannot be tolerated or is contraindicated.

The drug’s manufacturer Millennium Pharmaceuticals has agreed a discount on the list price via a patient access scheme with the Department of Health. The level of the discount is “commercial in confidence”, noted NICE.

Prior to the discount agreement, vedolizumab was not considered cost effective compared with TNF-alpha inhibitors for treating Crohn’s disease patients who have not had a TNF-alpha inhibitor.

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