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Use of blood disorder drug backed

A drug has been recommended for adults suffering from chronic cases of a rare blood disorder if they have not responded to standard active treatments.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued its final guidance on the use of romiplostim (Nplate, Amgen) for patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a debilitating disorder which causes the immune system to destroy vital platelets needed for blood clotting.

The decision should help some of the 3,500 people in the UK who have the disease, with those who have ITP for over a year defined as having a chronic case of the disorder.

NICE also recommended the treatment for patients who have a high risk of bleeding that requires frequent courses of rescue therapies.

Dr Carole Longson from NICE said: "We are pleased to be able to recommend the use of romiplostim as a clinically and cost-effective treatment for some people with severe, chronic ITP, a serious and sometimes debilitating disorder. The manufacturer submitted a patient access scheme, and the cost of the treatment to the NHS is reduced."

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