The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the switch of Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment from a prescription-only drug to one available in pharmacies.

The treatment, which contains calcipotriol, a vitamin D analogue, will be sold to patients with mild to moderate psoriasis aged 18 years and over following a consultation with a pharmacist.

According to the British Skin Foundation and the Psoriasis Association, 2 percent of the UK population are affected by psoriasis.

The availability of this medicine from pharmacies will increase the choice patients have over where to obtain treatment when their condition recurs, the MHRA noted.

“Widening access to medicine is great news for patients. Pharmacists are experts in medicines and are well trained to ensure safe supply of medicines to the public,” said Ash Soni, the president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, commenting on the decision.

“Pharmacists are more easily accessible than doctors and trained to give advice on medicine use, make sure the chosen medicine is appropriate and check  if a person needs to see another health professional. This is an important patient benefit and we would like to see more medicine available through pharmacy in future.”