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NICE recommends UCB's Cimzia in severe plaque psoriasis

Published on 18/04/19 at 10:47am

NICE has announced its decision to recommend UCB Pharma’s Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for use on the NHS in England in the treatment of severe plaque psoriasis in patients who have failed to respond to, or are unsuitable for, other systemic treatments.

The judgement also adds an additional treatment option for women before or during pregnancy, as well as while breastfeeding.

Specifically, NICE recommends the use of Cimzia only if the disease is severe – with a total Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more and total Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) of 10 or more – or the disease has not responded to other systemic treatments, and the lowest maintenance dosage of certolizumab pegol is used (200 mg every 2 weeks) after the loading dosage.

Cimzia has been shown to provide greater benefit in severe plaque psoriasis than either placebo or etanercept , and data suggest that it is as effective in the condition as biological therapies, and more effective than non-biological ones.

“We regularly hear from patients that the highly visible nature of psoriasis can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life; in order to keep their skin covered, they sometimes choose to avoid doing certain activities.  Any treatment that offers the potential to improve daily life for patients living with this condition is welcomed.” said Helen McAteer from The Psoriasis Association.

Around 1.5 million people in England live with psoriasis, and patient survey data suggests that moderate to severe forms of the condition remain undertreated.

This latest recommendation extends the list of uses for which Cimzia is authorised for use on the NHS, including moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in those who have received a tumour necrosis factor-alpha inhibitor; active psoriatic arthritis after inadequate response to DMARDs; and, severe active ankylosing spondylitis and severe non‑radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in patients who have not responded inadequately to, or who cannot tolerate, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

“Psoriasis can have a huge impact of a patient’s quality of life, so we are very pleased that NICE is able to recommend this as a new treatment option,’ said Abhinav Kumar, Head of Immunology, UK & Ireland at UCB Pharma. “We have a long-term commitment to improve care for people living with psoriasis and other dermatological conditions, and this latest recommendation is just part of our ongoing programme to help bring medicines to patients with high unmet need.”

Matt Fellows

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