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NICE publishes new arthritis advice

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has updated its draft guidance on the use of etanercept and adalimumab for adults with active and progressive psoriatic arthritis.

The directive, which combines previous guidance published in 2006 and 2007, recommends that the drugs be used only when the person has peripheral arthritis with three or more tender joints and three or more swollen joints and/or the psoriatic arthritis has not responded to trials of at least two standard disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

The advice also suggests use of Infliximab, but only when the above conditions have been met and the patient is intolertant of etanercept and/or adalimumab.

Dr Carole Longson, NICE, said: "The aim of psoriatic arthritis treatment is to relieve symptoms, slow disease progression and maintain quality of life. Infliximab remains an alternative option for people unable to use etanercept or adalimumab. We hope that these draft recommendations will help in the management of this disabling disease."

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