Under its licence indications, infliximab should only be given in very severe cases, defined as a psoriasis area severity index of 20 or more and dermatology life quality index over 18.
In its technology appraisal, NICE also says patients need to have a failed response to standard therapies in order to qualify for the treatment. Only those who show an adequate response should receive infliximab beyond 10 weeks.
The immunomodulators efalizumab and etanercept are already recommended by NICE for use in the treatment of severe plaque psoriasis.
On average, the annual cost of infliximab is £11,750 per patient.
NICE infliximab technology appraisal, live links at www.healthcarerepublic.com