NICE snubs Orencia, picks 3 rivals

It's final: Britain's National Health Service won't pay for Bristol-Myers Squibb's anti-arthritis drug Orencia. Patient advocacy groups had been lobbying the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to reconsider its earlier recommendation to pass over the drug because it's too expensive.

Meanwhile, NICE recommended Abbott Laboratories' Humira, Amgen's Embrel, and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade for treatment-resistant arthritis. Individual patients will be monitored every six months to make sure the drugs are working; if not, they'll be discontinued.

-read the news release from NICE (pdf)
-read NICE's guidance at its website
-read the story in The Guardian
-read more in the Independent

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