Oral drug for Ulcerative Colitis approved in Scotland

12 February 2019

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved new oral drug tofacitinib for adults with Ulcerative Colitis

The SMC has advised NHS Scotland that oral drug tofacitinib (Xeljanz) can now be prescribed in Scotland for adults with Ulcerative Colitis

We have worked with SMC to get this new drug approved, by submitting evidence to their call out. We shared testimonials from people living with Colitis who had taken part in the tofacitinib clinical trials and statements about the impact of the condition on people's lives. 

Tofacitinib provides new hope for people with Colitis for whom biological therapy, such as infliximab or adalimumab has failed, or for people who want to avoid surgery.  

More information on tofacitinib can be read here


What does SMC’s decision mean for me? 

If your doctor thinks that tofacitinib is the right medicine for you, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS in Scotland.

The choice of treatment between tofacitinib, biological drugs and surgery should be made on an individual basis after talking with your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of the options.  

SMC’s decision is explained in full here


We are extremely pleased that people in Scotland living with Colitis will now benefit from this new drug. The choice of treatments for the condition is still limited, but this new option, administered as a tablet, gives greater convenience and fewer side effects than some other treatments. For some people, treatment options run out or they may carry on with a limited quality of life when they lose response to medicines. For them, tofacitinib offers fresh hope, particularly for those wishing to avoid or delay surgery (for example to complete studies or have children).

Nancy Greig
Health Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Crohn’s & Colitis UK