§ Ms Blears
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was asked to appraise the use of infliximab (Remicade) and etanecerpt (Enbrel) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. NICE issued its guidance on 22 March 2002. NICE has recommended the use of etanercept for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and etanercept and infliximab for rheumatoid arthritis.
On 5 December 2001, the Government announced that they would meet their manifesto commitment to ensure that patients receive drugs and treatments recommended by NICE on the national health service if deemed appropriate by their clinicians. Directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for recommended treatments.