Tocilizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

NICE technology appraisals [TA198] Published date:

This guidance has been replaced by TA247 Rheumatoid arthritis - tocilizumab (rapid review TA198)

NICE recommends tocilizumab, taken with a drug called methotrexate, as a possible treatment for some people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Who can have tocilizumab?

You should be able to have tocilizumab if:

  • you have moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis and
  • you have tried at least one drug called a tumour necrosis factor alpha (or TNF-Ã?± for short) inhibitor and a drug called rituximab but these have not worked.

If you cannot take rituximab for medical reasons or you had to stop taking it because you had a bad reaction to it, you should still be able to have tocilizumab if you have moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis and have tried at least one drug called a TNF-Ã?± inhibitor.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended tocilizumab in these circumstances because it works well and its cost is justified after other drugs that are likely to be equally effective and cheaper to give have been tried.

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