An innovative “pen” device designed to help patients easily inject themselves with rheumatology drugs has been made available on the health service.
The new AutoClicks Prefilled Pen, which contains the drug certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), has been approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis, active psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and axial spondyloarthritis.
“Promoting self-management is an important part of a rheumatology nurse specialist role”
The device, launched by Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB, is distinctive because it has been designed to provide a button-free delivery system and a wide non-slip grip that keeps patient hand disability in mind.
Unusually, it was developed in partnership with a US homeware company, called OXO, which is recognised for its innovative Good Grips products range that prioritises ease of comfortable use.
OXO itself was founded in 1990 by an entrepreneur who noticed that his wife, who suffered from mild osteoarthritis in her hands, was having difficulty gripping ordinary kitchen tools.
Both charities and specialist nurses have welcomed the approval of the device for use on the NHS, highlighting its potential role in self-management.
“We welcome any innovation that can help make the lives of rheumatoid arthritis patients more comfortable”
Alison Kent, a specialist nurse and rheumatology department manager at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Promoting self-management to people living with long-term conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, is an important part of a rheumatology nurse specialist role.”
She told Nursing Times that the new device supported self-management by providing an auto injector that was “easy, safe and comfortable to use”.
“This gives the individual the confidence to be able to administer their own treatment in their own home at a time that suits them, putting the patient in control and able to get on with the things that really matter to them,” she said.
Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, added: “It is difficult for people who do not suffer from this disease to understand just how challenging doing the ordinary things in daily life can be.
“Trying to grip an everyday object such as a kitchen gadget can cause immense pain. So we welcome any innovation that can help make the lives of rheumatoid arthritis patients more comfortable while they manage their condition,” she said.
The approval of the new self-injection device follows a recent positive opinion by the European Medicines Agency’s backed by its committee for medicinal products for human use.
The monthly cost to the NHS for treating a patient using the certolizumab pegol AutoClicks Prefilled Pen is £715 – two treatments of 200mg.