What has NICE said?

Apremilast (Otezla) is recommended as a possible treatment for people with chronic plaque psoriasis if:

  • their psoriasis has not improved with other treatments including ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA (psoralen and long-wave ultraviolet radiation), or they have had side effects with these treatments in the past or there is a reason why they cannot have them and

  • standard assessments show that their psoriasis is severe and is affecting their quality of life.

Treatment with apremilast should be stopped after 16 weeks if the psoriasis does not improve enough according to standard measures.

What does this mean for me?

If you have chronic plaque psoriasis, and your doctor thinks that apremilast is the right treatment, you should be able to have it on the NHS. Apremilast should be available on the NHS within 3 months.

If you are not eligible for treatment as described above, you should be able to continue taking apremilast until you and your doctor decide it is the right time to stop.

The condition and the treatment

Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition in which a person has raised red patches of skin covered with silvery scales. When the psoriasis is severe, the patches can cover most of the body, and can be itchy, sore, burning and painful.

Apremilast interferes with substances in the body that regulate inflammation and which are involved in the development of psoriasis.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2171-3

  • Information Standard