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NHS ditches its most expensive drug used by 46,000 arthritis sufferers in bid to save £300million

NHS ditches its ‘most expensive drug’ which is used by 46,000 arthritis sufferers in bid to save £300million

  • Health bosses have signed a deal to use cheaper versions of an arthritis drug
  • More than 46,000 patients a year take adalimumab for different conditions
  • The annual cost until now has been more than £400million – the biggest bill for any single NHS medicine 

Health bosses have signed a deal to save £300million a year by using cheaper versions of a costly arthritis drug.

More than 46,000 English patients a year take adalimumab, used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.

The annual cost until now has been more than £400million – the biggest bill for any single NHS medicine.

More than 46,000 English patients a year take adalimumab, used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis [File photo]

Bosses have slashed this to just £100million by signing deals with five firms to produce very similar versions much more cheaply. 

The record saving could pay for 11,700 community nurses or 19,800 breast cancer treatments, officials say.

The deal will see the largest use so far of ‘biosimilars’ – medicines which vary slightly from antibodies used in expensive versions, but have the same effects.

Adalimumab was previously only available under brand name Humira, made by AbbVie, costing between £176 and £352 per jab, but its exclusive patent has expired. 

Health bosses have signed a deal to save £300million a year by using cheaper versions of a costly arthritis drug

Health bosses have signed a deal to save £300million a year by using cheaper versions of a costly arthritis drug

The NHS has now accepted bids from Amgen, Biogen, Mylan and Sandoz – and has negotiated a cheaper deal with original manufacturer AbbVie.

The new treatments are expected to be available from December.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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