Clinical News

Obesity Health Alliance Website Goes Live

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 08:23

The new Obesity Health Alliance website has now gone live. The goal of the Obesity Health Alliance is to prevent obesity-related ill-health by addressing the influences that lead to excess bodyweight throughout life. They bring together a range of leading organisations with expertise in tackling overweight and obesity. The Obesity Health Alliance was formed in 2015. They support policy-making to tackle the social, economic and cultural factors that contribute to obesity and the inequalities in health caused by obesity.

They have also launched a new Twitter account: @OHA_updates

Conference Report: Improving Outcomes for Gastrointestinal Cancer in the UK

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 08:21

On 7 December 2015, the British Society of Gastroenterology and the Royal College of Physicians held a joint conference: GI cancer in the UK: can we do better? The meeting was timely as, although outcomes for patients with most gastrointestinal cancers in the UK have steadily improved in the past 10 years, survival figures remain substantially worse than in many other comparable nations.

An extensive write up of the meeting, covering screening, early diagnosis, specific tumour sites and the interface between primary and secondary care were covered by leading UK experts.

This has been published in Frontline Gastroenterology and can be access through the link below.

Press Release: Medics call for urgent improvements in the quality of endoscopy across Europe

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 08:36

(Vienna) Every year, tens of millions of individuals across Europe undergo endoscopic procedures to assist with the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal diseases. However, significant variation in current endoscopy provision across Europe has been reported¹, with back-to-back colonoscopy studies demonstrating that a concerning 22% of all adenomas are missed and that a three-to-six fold variation in adenoma detection is present between endoscopists².

This inconsistent provision, coupled with improved first-line screening methods, has created a requirement to improve the quality of endoscopy services as endoscopy of a high quality have been shown to deliver superior health outcomes, better patient experience and fewer repeat procedures³.

United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) have therefore published a joint paper which identifies a need for change and outlines the first phase of a series of recommendations for improvements in quality standards of endoscopy.

UEG endoscopy specialist Professor Thierry Ponchon, who is a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee, welcomes the publication of new standards. "Endoscopy services throughout Europe are at a critical point at the current time. We must make improvements in the quality of service for our patients a major and immediate priority. Our aim is achieve high quality standards for endoscopy throughout Europe over the next two years and create a thriving community of endoscopy services for all."

BSG Guidance on the Use of Biosimilar Infliximab CT-P13 in IBD

February 2016

Introduction: Dr AB Hawthorne, Chair BSG IBD Section Committee

The infliximab biosimilar CT-P13 (Remsima or Inflectra) received marketing authorisation in June 2013.The drug is now widely used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. There is sufficient data from observational studies to show that safety and clinical efficacy of CT-P13 are comparable to the originator drug, with similar immunogenicity.

Recommendations

  1. Infliximab must be prescribed by brand name (ie Remicade, Remsima or Inflectra) and not by International Non-proprietary Name (INN).
  2. For patients starting infliximab: Remicade, Remsima or Inflectra can be prescribed, taking into account the evidence showing similar clinical effectiveness. There is evidence that monitoring of patients, including measurement of drug and anti-drug antibody levels, is no different for the biosimilar drugs compared to Remicade. The choice of preparation should take into account the cost of the drug and its administration.
  3. There is sufficient evidence to recommend that patients who are in a stable clinical response or remission on Remicade therapy can be switched to Remsima or Inflectra at the same dose and dose interval. This should be done after discussion with individual patients, with explanation of the reason for switching (which is usually on the grounds of benefit to the overall service by reduction in costs of the drug and its administration).
  4. Automatic substitution, (dispensing one medicine instead of another equivalent and interchangeable medicine at the pharmacy level without consulting the prescriber), is not appropriate.
  5. Pharmacovigilance is essential for any new biological medicine, and patients prescribed Remsima or Inflectra should be followed for safety, in a registry such as the UK National IBD Registry.

This document replaces the previous BSG guidance on Biosimilar drugs - IBD Section Statement on Biosimilar drugs (2014) (View here)

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