This site is intended for health professionals only

NICE issues guidance on psoriasis treatment

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today published guidance on the use of adalimumab for the treatment of psoriasis in adults.

Adalimumab is recommended as a possible treatment for adults with plaque psoriasis only if:

  • Their condition is severe and
  • Their condition has not improved with other treatments such as ciclosporin, methotrexate and PUVA (psoralen and long-wave ultraviolet radiation), or they have had side-effects with these in the past or there is a medical reason why they should not be given these treatments.

Adalimumab treatment should be continued beyond 16 weeks only if the psoriasis has clearly improved within this time.

The severity of a person's psoriasis before and during treatment should be assessed by considering the redness, thickness and scaliness of the plaques, the area of the body involved, and how the condition affects the person's quality of life.

When assessing a person's psoriasis, healthcare professionals should take into account any disabilities or difficulties in communicating the person might have, which might mean that standard assessments do not provide accurate information about their condition.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE Clinical and Public Health Director and Executive Lead for this guidance, said: "Psoriasis is an extremely debilitating disorder that is estimated to affect 2% of the population. A UK study of people with severe psoriasis found that 60% had taken time off work as a direct result of their condition, many requiring hospitalisations. Today's guidance recommending the use of adalimumab will ensure adults with severe psoriasis are able to access a treatment of proven benefit."