The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is proposing to ban the use of pimecrolimus (Elidel) as an alternative to topical steroid treatment for atopic eczema.
The ruling is a final draft in an appraisal consultation document on the use of pimecrolimus and tacrolimus (Protopic) for atopic eczema, which sets out NICE’s recommendations for formal guidance.
Pimecrolimus, indicated for first line use in mild to moderate atopic eczema along with tacrolimus, are the first new class of treatments for eczema to be available in 40 years.
NICE is recommending that tacrolimus can be used as a second line treatment for moderate to severe atopic eczema but has reservations about pimecrolimus.
The Skin Care Campaign is calling on NICE to review its refusal to fund pimecrolimus. It recommends that because everybody’s skin is different and different people react differently to different treatments, the widest possible range of treatments should be available on prescription.
Dr Stephen Kownacki, GP and chair of the Primary Care Dermatology Society said: ‘In the management of atopic eczema not every treatment is suitable for every situation, including facial eczema where many patients are wary of using steroids, Because of this, it is important that clinicians have a range of treatment options available, a factor which I feel has not be recognised by NICE in this recommendation.’