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NICE recommends plaque psoriasis contender for NHS use

Published on 08/08/17 at 09:33am

The use of Almirall’s psoriasis drug Skilarence (dimethyl fumarate) on the UK’s NHS is one step closer after NICE gave draft guidance recommending its use in moderate to severe plaque forms of the disease in adult patients for whom other systemic non-biological treatments are not applicable.

The institute based its decision on trial data which indicated that Skilarence was effective at improving the condition compared to placebo. However, it failed to prove as effective as existing systemic biological therapies, as well as Celgene’s drug Otzela (apremilast).

Crucially, the drug was judged as cost-effective, with a price tag of £23,115 per quality-adjusted life year.  

The recommendation is conditional, requiring that treatment with the drug be stopped at 16 weeks if response is not deemed adequate, as determined by a 75% reduction on the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) since the beginning of treatment, or a 50% reduction along with a 5 point drop on the Dermatology Life Quality Index.  

Psoriasis currently affects around 950,000 people in the UK alone, and 90% of that number suffer from the plaque form of the disease.  

Matt Fellows

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