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Right Arrow Arthritis drug trialled at Southport and Ormskirk
11 December 2009 at 15:22
Rheumatoid arthritis patients at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital are benefiting from a new drug that could revolutionise treatment of their condition.

It is hoped the clinical trial of Tocilizumab will transform the lives of patients for whom other therapies are unsuitable or won’t work.

Five patients are receiving injections of the drug once a month for six months.

The trial, which is one of a number being run across the UK funded by the pharmaceutical company Roche, is expected to be completed early next year.

Consultant rheumatologist Khalid Binymin is leading the research at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

He said: “We are very lucky to be asked to host such prestigious research and this is the first time a clinical trial of such a drug has been conducted at the hospital.

“The treatment has the potential to stop the disease in its tracks. Arthritis can be a crippling condition and our patients are already reaping the benefits.”

Mr Binymin’s work will help inform a national decision on whether the drug is judged effective enough to be used by the NHS. Those patients on the trial for whom the drug works will continue to receive it for free from the manufacturer regardless of this decision.

Notes to Editors

Caption: Consultant rheumatologist Khalid Binymin with, from left to right, Sister Sarah Cox (medical day unit), rheumatology specialist nurses Denise Sutton-Monks and Gillian Minghella and Sister Julie Marshall (medical day unit).

• There are approximately 20,000 new cases of rheumatoid arthritis in the UK every year
• There are around 400,000 adults in the UK with rheumatoid arthritis
• Prevalence is more common in women than men by a factor of three-to-one
• Up to four out of every 10 working people with rheumatoid arthritis lose their jobs within five years, three-quarters of these are for reasons directly related to their condition
• One-in-seven give up work within one year of diagnosis

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager,
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

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