Celgene's Otezla is being backed for routine use on the National Health Service in England and Wales to treat psoriatic arthritis.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is recommending the drug alone or in combination with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as an option for treating active psoriatic arthritis in adults, when their disease has not responded to DMARDs or they are not tolerated.

The recommendations are also contingent on the continued provision of a patient access scheme, which offers the drug at a confidential discount to the NHS to improve its cost-effectiveness.

Otezla's NHS list price is £265.18 for a 14-day treatment initiation pack (4×10mg, 4×20mg and 19×30mg) and £550.00 for a 28-day pack (56×30mg).

The Committee said the base-case incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with the patient access scheme was £39,052 saved per QALY lost. It also noted that all exploratory analyses presented by both the company and the ERG also showed that using the drug resulted in cost savings but a QALY loss.

Otelza was approved in Europe in January 2015. The drug works by reducing the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase known to play a role in the process of inflammation. Unlike current systemic treatments available for psoriasis, it does not require regular lab monitoring, which may help reduce the burden of hospital visits for patients, according to Celgene.