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NHS commissions uveitis treatment

Adalimumab is now available for patients with severe refractory uveitis who do not respond to other treatments

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Patients with sight-threatening uveitis who do not respond to steroid and immunosuppressants now have another treatment option.

The NHS has decided to commission AbbVie Humira (adalimumab) for patients with severe refractory uveitis if they cannot use existing treatments.

AbbVie UK medical director, Alice Butler, told OT that around 200 patients with sight-threatening uveitis would be eligible for adalimumab through the NHS.

“We welcome NHS England’s decision as this milestone represents a significant step forward in access to treatment,” she emphasised.

Adalimumab was the first and only biologic medicine licensed for adult patients with certain types of non-infectious uveitis, Ms Butler added.

Nicki Davis, founder of uveitis charity, Olivia’s Vision, highlighted to OT her delight at the decision.

“At last those suffering from severe forms of uveitis who are at greatest risk of going blind can now receive treatment that has been shown to be effective,” she said.

“It’s critical that this policy is implemented quickly to ensure eligible patients don’t have to wait any longer,” Ms Davis concluded.

The recommendation to provide adalimumab was made through an interim clinical commissioning policy released by the NHS.

The decision was based on information about the safety and effectiveness of the drug gained through two randomised controlled trials.

The studies demonstrated that adult patients with either active or controlled non-infectious intermediate, posterior and panuveitis treated with adalimumab had a significantly lower risk for uveitic flare and decreased visual acuity, than those treated with a placebo. 

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