The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has reportedly approved GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Benlysta for the treatment of lupus.
Earlier in 2011, NICE rejected Benlysta as it believed that the medicine did not offer value for money.
The latest approval will make the drug available for limited use under a managed access scheme between GSK and the National Health Service (NHS) in England, Reuters reported.
NHS will procure the medicine from GSK at an undisclosed discount.
NICE will review the treatment after three years, during which additional data on the benefits of the drug will be collected.
Benlysta is a prescription medication that is used to treat adults with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), who are receiving other lupus medicines.
It is not known if Benlysta is safe and effective in people with severe active lupus nephritis or severe active central nervous system lupus, GSK said in a statement.
Lupus is a disease that occurs when something goes wrong with the immune system.
In a person with lupus, some B cells become autoreactive and such cells produce a type of protein called an autoantibody.
Unlike normal antibodies, which react against foreign invaders like germs, the autoantibodies attack that person’s own body, leading to inflamed body tissue.
Bloomberg previously reported citing GSK that benlysta is already being sold in the US, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Finland and Canada.