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22 Dec 2016

New pill available on the NHS for patients suffering with psoriatic arthritis

Oral Otezla receives positive NICE recommendation for adults with psoriatic arthritis.

Celgene has announced that NICE has issued a final appraisal determination (FAD) recommending the use of Otezla (apremilast) for the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis who have had an inadequate response to or have been unable to tolerate Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). Otezla does not require pre-screening for tuberculosis or regular laboratory monitoring.

“Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease that causes significant strain on NHS resources,” said Dr Helena Marzo-Ortega, Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. “Addressing the symptoms of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the availability of OTEZLA on the NHS marks a major milestone in the management of psoriatic arthritis.”

Following initial negative guidance issued by NICE in September 2015, Otezla was reappraised under the NICE Rapid Review process. Otezla, alone or in combination with DMARDs, is now recommended with a Patient Access Scheme for adults with active psoriatic arthritis when

  • they have peripheral arthritis with 3 or more tender joints and 3 or more swollen joints
  • their disease has not responded to adequate trials of at least 2 standard DMARDs, given either alone or in combination.
  • Today’s decision brings access for patients in England and Wales in line with those in Scotland, where Otezla was recommended by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) in June 2015.

    Dr Dani Thomas, Medical Director, Celgene UK & Ireland, commented: “We are delighted that patients in England and Wales can now access Otezla via the NHS, bringing availability in line with patients in Scotland. Otezla’s novel mechanism of action and oral administration provides psoriatic arthritis patients with a much needed treatment option. Celgene will continue our dedication to develop and deliver innovative medicines for people affected by diseases where there is a high unmet need.”

    Otezle is an oral treatment for psoriatic arthritis that works by reducing the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), which is involved in the process of inflammation. By reducing the activity of this enzyme, Otezla can help to control the inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis, and thereby reduce the signs and symptoms of the condition.

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