Ustekinumab (Stelara) is recommended as a possible treatment, alone or with a drug called methotrexate, for adults with active psoriatic arthritis when treatment with non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (or DMARDS) has not worked well enough if:
- treatment with tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha inhibitors is not suitable for them, or
- the person has had a TNF alpha inhibitor before.
Treatment with ustekinumab should be stopped after 24 weeks if it is not working well enough.
What does this mean for me?
If you have psoriatic arthritis and your doctor thinks that ustekinumab is the right treatment, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS. Ustekinumab should be available on the NHS within 3 months of the guidance being issued.
If you are not eligible for treatment as described above, you should be able to continue taking ustekinumab until you and your doctor decide it is the right time to stop.
The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.