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Health approves the financing of GSK’s treatment for active lupus nephritis

New treatment available. The Ministry of Health, through the Interministerial Commission on Drug Prices, has approved the financing in Spain of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) drug Benlysta (belimumab) as a treatment for active lupus nephritis.

This is a new indication that will benefit patients living with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) who develop this complication, around 30%, according to national data, and 40%, according to global data.

It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with lupus nephritis (LN) treated with standard therapy develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on a national scale, a figure that reaches 20% globally, which may result in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Therefore, it is necessary to modify the course of the disease in time to control the consequences in the short and long term.

The arrival of Benlysta for LN patients in Spain comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized it in April 2021.

The EMA was based on the results of the Bliss-LN study (Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab in Adult Patients with Active Lupus NephritisEfficacy and safety of belimumab in adult patients with active lupus nephritis), and on the unmet medical needs of this patient population.

Three Spanish hospitals participated in the study.: the University Hospital Complex of Vigo, the Doctor Peset University Hospital of Valencia and the Vall d’Hebrón University Hospital of Barcelona.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic and incurable autoimmune disease associated with a series of symptoms that can vary over time and that include joint pain or swelling, extreme fatigue, unexplained fever, skin rashes, and organ damage. In lupus nephritis (LN), SLE causes inflammation of the small blood vessels that filter waste in the kidney (glomeruli) and sometimes in the kidney tissue.

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