Children who suffer from Crohn’s disease and who do not respond to conventional therapy will be offered a new treatment.
Paediatric patients aged six to 17 years with sever Crohn’s who do not respond to standard therapies such as nutrition therapy, a corticosteroid, and an immunomodulator, will now have access to Humira (adalimumab).
The treatment will also be suitable for those patients who are intolerant to or have contraindications to other treatments.
Dr Richard Russell, consultant paediatric gastroenterologist, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, said: “The number of children and young people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease continues to rise in the UK but the number of treatment options available remains limited. For patients who do not respond to standard therapies, this new treatment option addresses a significant unmet need by offering the flexibility of out of hospital injectable administration, usually by patients or their parents.”
Crohn’s is a type of inflammatory bowel disease affecting the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. Symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss and diarrhoea, but paediatric Crohn’s can affect children in several ways, including delayed growth and/or puberty.
Richard Driscoll, chief executive of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, said “We welcome this new treatment that is being made available in the UK as the symptoms can be very severe and have a significant debilitating effect on the child and their family.”
Rod Mitchell, chairman of the Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association, said: “Whilst the psychological effects cannot be measured, symptoms, treatment and side effects may mean that childhood and adolescence can be severely disrupted making it difficult for some children to cope emotionally. Physical growth and pubertal development can be delayed, creating an additional problem, particularly in relation to school, college and social life”.
Copyright Press Association 2013