Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

NASS welcomes the NICE provisional decision on new ankylosing spondylitis treatment


The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has provisionally recommended use of the drug golimumab (Simponi). This draft guidance means that this treatment may soon become routinely available for people with severe ankylosing spondylitis (AS) whose condition has not responded to standard therapy.

Debbie Cook, Director of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) says:

“Around 200,000 people in the UK have ankylosing spondylitis (AS). It usually starts in the late teens and early twenties and can cause lifelong pain and stiffness. AS is a form of inflammatory arthritis mainly affecting the spine and hips, which may fuse over time. It can also cause inflammation in other areas of the body including the heart, bowel and eyes. Unless treated and managed effectively AS will lead to great pain and can render people immobile and unable to work. NICE’s provisional recommendation is great news – it gives hope that another treatment option may become widely available on the NHS.”


Dr Karl Gaffney, Consultant Rheumatologist and AS Lead at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust commented:

“We are delighted that NICE has produced draft recommendations for golimumab for severe AS. This potentially offers another excellent treatment option for patients in a disease area where treatment choices are limited.”


Golimumab is a once monthly self injection and Dr Helena Marzo-Ortega, Consultant Rheumatologist in the United Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust says:

‘This provisional recommendation represents excellent news for patients with AS who will welcome the opportunity of a treatment option which only requires monthly administration.’

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