New clinical evidence on apremilast, a specific drug used to treat psoriasis, was presented at the 25th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology held in Vienna from September 28 to October 2.
Tablets that contain apremilast are the first to receive approval for psoriatic arthritis in the last 20 years. It has recently been approved by the European Medicines Committee and the National Organization for Medicines and will be launched in the Greek market in March.
Professor of Dermatology and Venereology at the University of Athens and director of the hospital Andreas Syngros, Christina Antoniou explained that the pharmaceutical treatment of the disease has changed.
“First of all we have the traditional medicines that are often accompanied with serious side-effects, the new ones that are injectable, and the newer ones that are small molecules, such as apremilast, in the form of a tablet and constitute the latest weapon in our medical tool kit. Apremilast is approved for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis, which is the most common form of the disease, while studies are being made in order to get the approval for other auto-inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease. Clinical studies showed results in 16 weeks, and even greater improvement in 24 weeks,” Antoniou stressed.
Asked by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on the benefits of the new drug in relation to the existing ones, Antoniou said that the new drug is friendly to the patient because it is not in the form of an injection, it is neither nephrotoxic, nor hepatotoxic, there is no need for frequent liver exams as with other similar drugs and it does not lose its effectiveness in long-term use. She also stated that it does not interact with normal concomitant medications for psoriasis.
Psoriasis is not related to mange and it is not contagious. In its 2016 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that psoriasis is not a simple skin condition, but a chronic, non-contagious, painful, distorting disease that causes disability and for which there is no definitive cure.