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NICE supports application of advanced biological therapies as treatment option for acute psoriasis

The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has brought out guidance to effectively use biological therapies, Enbrel?// (etanercept) and Raptiva? (efalizumab), to help adult patients suffering acute plaque psoriasis. Despite this move, renowned specialists are still skeptical about its benefits for many patients in Europe due to the financial issues surrounding it. Yet, this is a reprieve for many thousands of patients across United Kingdom who are not left with too many choices in treatment options, especially when health care systems are held sway with NICE implementations.

Leeroy Blake in England was fortunate enough to be offered treatment with a biological therapy, after years of trying every other available psoriasis treatment: "For many years, I tried every suitable treatment but nothing seemed to relieve the painful itching. As the itching got worse, I would get more stressed and this only made my condition worse. Following a treatment review with my doctor, I was prescribed a biological therapy and for the first time since developing psoriasis, my skin started to clear and my confidence came back. This treatment might not be suitable for everyone with severe psoriasis, but I think that it's important that patients at least discuss this option with their doctor".

Latest research has dismissed the preconception that psoriasis is merely a skin complaint, with recent data showing that severe psoriasis can affect a patient's quality of life to a similar extent as other prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes and even heart diseases.

In addition to the impact on a patient's appearance, up to 30% of patients with psoriasis have been reported to have psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints. Coinciding with its decision on the use of biological therapies in moderate to severe psoriasis, NICE has also given its backing for the NHS to use Enbrel and Remicade
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