5 Recommendations for further research

5.1 Given that 0.03% tacrolimus in children with moderate to severe atopic eczema has only been compared with mild topical corticosteroids, the Committee recommends that high-quality studies be undertaken using moderately potent topical corticosteroids as a comparator.

5.2 The Committee recommends that high-quality RCTs of pimecrolimus compared with appropriate potencies of topical corticosteroids be undertaken in children and adults with mild to moderate atopic eczema.

5.3 The Committee recommends that additional head-to-head studies of tacrolimus and pimecrolimus be conducted to enable further direct comparisons of efficacy to be made.

5.4 The Committee emphasises the need for careful and long-term surveillance for adverse effects of tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, including skin and other types of malignancy.

5.5 To achieve greater consensus among researchers and clinicians on how to measure treatment success in studies of atopic eczema, the Committee recommends that further research be conducted into the reliability of methods of measurement.

5.6 The Committee recommends that observational studies be conducted to provide basic information about the treatment patterns and health service utilisation by people with atopic eczema in England and Wales.