HC Deb 08 September 2003 vol 410 c269W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the(a) efficacy and (b) availability within the NHS of (i) gold, (ii) Enbrel and (iii) Remicade. [127553]

Dr. Ladyman

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was asked to appraise the use of infliximab (Remicade) and etanecerpt (Enbrel) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. NICE issued its guidance on 22 March 2002, which recommended the use of etanecerpt for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and etanecerpt and infliximab for adult rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Clinicians will still be responsible for exercising judgment in individual cases in the light of NICE's guidance and the evidence on which it was based.

Gold therapy may be used to suppress the disease process in rheumatoid arthritis. It may be given by intramuscular injection as sodium aurothiomalate, or given by mouth as auranofin.

These drugs are available on the national health service for use in cases where the clinician and patient decide this is the best option.

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