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NICE recommends blood disorder drug

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The drug romiplostim should be used to treat patients who suffer from a rare and debilitating blood condition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) makes the immune system destroy key platelets that are needed for blood clotting.

For people with chronic cases of the disorder, NICE has recommended that they are treated with the drug romiplostim (Nplate, Amgen).

There are around 3,000 to 3,500 ITP sufferers in the UK, who have abnormally low platelet levels in their blood.

The condition may only affect some people over a short period of time, but patients who suffer from ITP for over a year are classed as having a chronic form of the disorder.

In this guidance from NICE, romiplostim is recommended for treating adults if they have not responded to standard active treatments and rescue therapies.

It also recommends the treatment to patients with a high risk of bleeding that requires frequent courses of rescue therapies.

Dr Carole Longson, from NICE, said: “We are pleased to be able to recommend the use of romiplostim as a clinically and cost effective treatment for some people with severe, chronic ITP, a serious and sometimes debilitating disorder.

“The manufacturer submitted a patient access scheme, and the cost of the treatment to the NHS is reduced.”

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