AbbVie's Rinvoq continues march with NICE nod in rheumatoid arthritis

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AbbVie's Rinvoq has nabbed just $14 million in sales since its approval in August with fourth-quarter earnings due next week, but its reimbursement reach is rapidly growing. (AbbVIe)

With its Allergan merger likely in the final stages, AbbVie is placing its hopes in a pair of home-grown drugs to help weather biosimilar attacks against Humira. One of those, JAK inhibitor Rinvoq, just snagged a big win from England's cost watchdog. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended AbbVie's Rinvoq, added to standard-of-care methotrexate, for coverage on the National Health Service as a treatment for severe rheumatoid arthritis, according to draft guidance published Friday. 

Rinvoq, with a list price of £805.56 ($1,058.06) per 28-day pack and average annual cost per patient of £10,508 ($13,801), will come with a confidential discount, NICE said. 

Despite the win in severe RA, though, NICE knocked down Rinvoq's application to treat moderate RA, arguing the drug's price didn't hit its cost-effectiveness standard in that indication. 

RELATED: Pro-AbbVie bias may be driving rheumatologist confidence in newcomer Rinvoq: analyst