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Celgene's Otezla approved by NICE for chronic plaque psoriasis

Published on 20/10/16 at 10:02am

NICE has given its approval to another indication for Celgene’s Otezla (apremilast), meaning NHS patients now have access to the drug for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis.

The decision follows NICE’s rapid review of the drug and its earlier draft guidance in August. The organisation recognises the clinical benefit of the drug will now be available to sufferers of severe forms of the disease, as defined by a total Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more and a Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) of more than 10 for whom have not responded to other systemic therapies, including ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA (psoralen and ultraviolet-A light).

Professor Chris Griffiths, professor of dermatology at the 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."

Otezla now presents an oral alternative to injectable treaments for severe plaque arthritis that does not require regular laboratory monitoring. The treatment is currently under Rapid Review for active psoriatic arthritis. NHS patients in Scotland have had access to the drug since it was recommended for use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) in June 2015.

Matt Fellows

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