Nice misses chance to improve quality of life for people with painful hand condition in England
The British Dupuytren’s Society (BDS) is astonished that NICE has decided NOT to make collagenase injections available on the NHS for Dupuytren’s contracture, a condition where the fingers gradually bend in towards the palm of the hand and cannot be straightened. Two million patients in England are affected by Dupuytren’s and this decision means that invasive surgery will be the only option to straighten their fingers. This decision has come after two years of fighting to ensure that new treatments for Dupuytren’s are developed and then made available.
Now only people enrolled in clinical trials for collagenase injections will be able to continue receiving treatment. Dupuytren’s contracture can impact on daily activities making them more difficult, such as holding a knife and fork, opening jars, writing text messages or playing sports.[i,ii]
Anna Schurer, Chief Executive of the BDS, who is also a sufferer of Dupuytren’s contracture said: “This will create an unfair divide in the UK. Collagenase (Xiapex) injections are already approved in Wales and Scotland; English patients will now only be offered surgery, with a long and painful recovery afterwards and scarring to the hand that makes future treatments more difficult.
“While we understand NICE has a duty to decide if new treatments are cost effective compared to treatments already available on the NHS, we are urging NICE to consider quality of life too. I know from my own experience that recovery after surgery, time off work, and being able look after yourself again and use the affected hand, can take months. I would urge them to consider the patient’s point of view as many patients would like to avoid surgery and opt for far less invasive injections instead.”
The BDS has campaigned for this treatment to be made available on the NHS, arguing that investment in treatments for Dupuytren’s is rare, and will become even more so if there is a refusal to provide Xiapex on the NHS.
Anna continued: “We hope that in the near future, as more data becomes available on the advantages of this new treatment, that NICE will reconsider and accept the benefits outweigh the (slight) extra cost.
About Dupuytren’s disease For more information about Dupuytren’s Contracture, visit: http://dupuytrens-society.org.uk/
• Dupuytren’s disease causes collagen to build up (under the skin) in the palm of the hand. The collagen may form a rope-like cord making the fingers curl up so they can’t be straightened. This bending is called Dupuytren’s contracture. The ring finger and little finger are most commonly affected.[iii]
• Around 1 person in 20 is thought to have Dupuytren’s disease,[iv] and it is up to 15 times more common in men than women.[i]
• Dupuytren’s appears most commonly around the age of 50.v About the British Dupuytren’s Society
• The British Dupuytren’s Society (BDS) is a small UK charity founded in 2011 as a patients’ organisation, supported by medical professionals, and working alongside the International Dupuytren Society (IDS). The BDS represents people with Dupuytren’s Contracture, Ledderhose (affecting the feet) and Peyronie’s (affecting the penis). The charity was set up to help people to access information about coping with the condition and to find specialist centres where they can receive treatment. Further information about the BDS is available from: http://dupuytrens-society.org.uk/