The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved funding for four new medicines on NHS Scotland, expanding treatment options for patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and hepatitis C.

Psoriasis patients in the country will be the first in the UK to get treatment with Celgene’s first-in-class Otezla (apremilast) on the NHS, after the SMC recommended its use for moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis in adults who have failed to respond to or can’t take other systemic therapy.

The drug was also endorsed for psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition affecting around 20% of psoriasis patients, in those who have had an inadequate response with at least two prior disease-modifying anti-rheumatic (DMARD) therapies or were intolerant to a prior DMARD therapy.

Otezla was approved in Europe in January this year; cost regulators for the NHS in England and Wales are also currently considering its cost-effectiveness.

Meanwhile, the SMC also approved for NHS use Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) as a new treatment for psoriasis, for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who have failed to respond to standard systemic therapies, or those that are intolerant to, or cannot take these treatments.

According to the firm, around two-thirds of UK patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis fail to achieve, or maintain, effective control of their symptoms with current treatments.

It says that Cosentyx, which also received a positive final recommendation by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence for use within NHS England and Wales at the end of May, has “consistently demonstrated high levels of skin clearance showing superiority to SMC recommended biological treatments”.

Elsewhere, AbbVie saw two of its medicines accepted as treatments for hepatitis C: Viekirax (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) and Exviera (dasabuvir).

Viekirax has been endorsed for use in combination with Exviera with or without ribavirin for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C in adults, while Viekirax has also been approved for NHS use in combination with ribavirin for the treatment of genotype 4 patients.