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24-Nov-2008New hope for thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients
UK, 24-Nov-2008 /HealthPRZone.com/- Wyeth,

Wyeth supports the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) announcement to overturn draft guidance which would have restricted the sequential use of anti-TNF therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

This comes as welcome news to the 400,000 people in the UK living with rheumatoid arthritis1, especially those people already receiving anti-TNF therapy. Clinical evidence overwhelmingly shows that rheumatoid arthritis patients, although they may fail to respond to one particular anti-TNF, have a significant chance of still being successfully treated with a different anti-TNF.

NICE is now seeking advice from the Department of Health as to whether a new formal referral is required.

Wyeth, the manufacturer of Enbrel® (etanercept), one of the three anti-TNF treatments reviewed by NICE, believes NICE’s decision to overturn its proposed recommendation is good news for patients and the NHS.

Dr Vignesh Rajah, Wyeth’s UK Medical Director, said: “Anti-TNF therapies such as etanercept have revolutionised the treatment of RA over the last ten years and ensuring access to these potentially life-transforming treatments will save more people with rheumatoid arthritis from long-term pain, disability, and dependence.

Dr Rajah concluded: “NICE’s decision to overturn their proposed recommendation is absolutely the right decision. The practice of switching to a different drug afterfailure of another is standard clinical practice in all therapy areas. Anti-TNF therapies are proven to be clinically effective and cost-effective, therefore the decision to switch between these therapies should lie with clinicians and their patients.


About Wyeth
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), has leading products in the areas of women

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