NICE has recommended the use of golimumab (Simponi) as a treatment option for ankylosing spondylitis in specific circumstances, in final guidance out in August
Ankylosing spondylitis is a progressive condition that causes inflammation, mainly in the lower spine. This leads to back pain and stiffness, and can also affect the hips, shoulders and knees. It can additionally cause bones and joints to fuse together.
The condition can have a debilitating effect on quality of life due to the pain and reduction in mobility that it causes, and the effect it has on sleep. Patients and clinical specialists told the NICE committee that it can also cause lead to people being unable to go to work.
NICE recommends golimumab as a treatment option for certain adults with severe, active ankylosing spondylitis in the same circumstances as other drugs for the condition.
These circumstances include when a person has had active spinal disease as assessed on two separate occasions 12 weeks apart, and when a person has tried at least two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but they have not worked.
Based on the evidence available, the NICE committee recommends golimumab for these circumstances as it is comparable in clinical and cost effectiveness to adalimumab and etanercept. Both of these drugs are currently used to treat adults with severe ankylosing spondylitis.
Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE, said that it is “good news for people with this disabling condition that golimumab now joins adalimumab and etanercept as NICE-recommended treatment options for ankylosing spondylitis”
She added: “Ankylosing spondylitis causes a great deal of pain and discomfort for individuals, impacting significantly on day-to-day life. “The evidence for golimumab demonstrated comparable clinical and cost effectiveness to the two drugs that we had already recommended for this condition. “This meant that we were able to complete the appraisal faster.”
The guidance also includes recommendations on the monitoring of treatment and use of alternative treatment if a person is intolerant.