The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a Technology Appraisal Guidance (TAG) for Novartis’ Cosentyx®▼ (secukinumab), recommending it as an option to treat adults with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who have responded inadequately to conventional therapy.
Clinical commissioning groups, NHS England and local authorities are now required to comply with this recommendation and ensure Cosentyx treatment is funded and accessible within 90 days.
AS is a chronic condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed. Around 200,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with the condition. The primary aim of treatment and management strategies is to delay or prevent pain, functional disability and clinical deterioration.
Current treatment options are not effective for all patients, with a proportion of them either failing to tolerate or respond.
Dimitrios Georgiopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, said: “This news gives us the final stamp of approval to offer patients with ankylosing spondylitis a much needed treatment option and highlights the potential of Cosentyx as the new standard of care. We look forward to NHS England issuing its commissioning policy as soon as possible to allow funding and rapid patient access to Cosentyx.”
Debbie Cook, Chief Executive at National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS), said: “We hope people affected by AS will now be able to discuss the range of options with their rheumatologist and decide together which would be the best option for them.”