The Department of Health and Social Care has asked The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to produce guidance on using belimumab (Benlysta) for the treatment of active autoantibody-positive systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the NHS in England.
Belimumab (Benlysta) was the first new treatment to be licensed for lupus for over 50 years and was first approved by the FDA in 2011. The biologic drug was approved by NICE for limited use by the NHS in England and Wales under a managed access agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in May 2016.
Belimumab (Benlysta) is a type of drug called a biological therapy. In lupus, B-cells in the body produce harmful autoantibodies which attack the body’s own tissues. Belimumab works by reducing the number of B-cells to reduce inflammation and improve your symptoms. You can learn more about how this treatment works HERE.
LUPUS UK is a registered consultee (stakeholder) for the development of the new guidance and as such we’re able to submit evidence, nominate patient and clinical experts, comment on consultation documents produced during the appraisal, and appeal against the final recommendation if we feel it is not in the interest of people living with lupus in the UK. To ensure we accurately represent the views of lupus patients and carers in the UK, we are inviting people to complete an online survey.
The anonymous online survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will help direct LUPUS UK’s involvement in the appraisal of this medication and may be submitted as evidence. This scope of this appraisal is only considering people with a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) so we are only inviting people with a diagnosis of SLE and their carers at this time.
The appraisal committee will meet in May 2021 and information about the outcome will be published here on the LUPUS UK website and social media channels in due course following a decision.