LONDON, Sept 7 Britain's healthcare cost
watchdog NICE said on Friday it was reconsidering a decision to
recommend against use of GlaxoSmithKline's lupus drug
Benlysta on the state health service, following an appeal by the
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) will refer the issue back to a committee of experts,
after an appeals panel at the agency upheld two points raised by
Draft guidance from NICE last September recommended against
use of the medicine given its high cost. NICE puts the cost at
2,308.50 pounds ($3,700) over the first four weeks and then
769.50 pounds every four weeks, although GSK has offered an
"The outcome of the appeal is a positive step," said GSK's
UK general manager Erik van Snippenberg.
"However, the restrictive nature of the NICE appraisal and
appeal process remains a challenge and we continue to be
concerned about our probability of achieving a successful
outcome and reversing the negative determination."
Benlysta, the first new treatment for lupus in a
half-century, was approved in Europe last year. It was
co-developed with Human Genome Sciences, which GSK acquired this
year in order to gain full control of the medicine.