1 Recommendations

1.1 Apremilast, alone or in combination with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), is recommended as an option for treating active psoriatic arthritis in adults only if:

  • they have peripheral arthritis with 3 or more tender joints and 3 or more swollen joints and

  • their disease has not responded to adequate trials of at least 2 standard DMARDs, given either alone or in combination and

  • the company provides apremilast with the discount agreed in the patient access scheme.

1.2 Stop apremilast at 16 weeks if the psoriatic arthritis has not shown an adequate response using the Psoriatic Arthritis response Criteria (PsARC), defined as an improvement in at least 2 of the 4 PsARC criteria (including joint tenderness or swelling score) with no worsening in any criteria. If the disease has a Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) 75 response, a dermatologist should decide whether to continue treatment with apremilast after 16 weeks based on skin response.

1.3 When using the PsARC healthcare professionals should take into account any physical, sensory or learning disabilities, or communication difficulties that could affect a person's responses to components of the PsARC and make any adjustments they consider appropriate.

1.4 This guidance is not intended to affect the position of patients whose treatment with apremilast was started within the NHS before this guidance was published. Treatment of those patients may continue without change to whatever funding arrangements were in place for them before this guidance was published until they and their NHS clinician consider it appropriate to stop.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)