NICE approves new treatment for chronic plaque psoriasis

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) announced in late 2016 that it has given a new oral treatment for chronic plaque psoriasis in adults a positive final appraisal.

Patients in Scotland have been benefitting from Otezla (apremilast) since mid-2015 and now patients in England and Wales will benefit too.

Professor Chris Griffiths, Professor of Dermatology, University of Manchester commented: “NICE’s decision to recommend apremilast for the treatment of psoriasis is an important step forward in the management of a disease which for many patients can have a significant detrimental effect on their lives. Apremilast offers patients a much needed new oral treatment option that does not require routine laboratory monitoring. Clinical trials of apremilast demonstrated a reduction in severity of psoriasis and associated itching as well as improvement in hard to treat areas, such as the nails and scalp. The drug has the potential to fill an important gap in the psoriasis treatment pathway and its introduction is welcomed by patients and healthcare practitioners.”

The novel new treatment works to reduce the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 which plays a part in creating inflammation. Otezla, from pharmaceutical company Cegene, works to reduce this activity thus helping to control inflammation associated with plaque psoriasis.

NICE are also looking at this treatment with regard to use in patients presenting with psoriatic arthritis.

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Next review: 26 January 2020