The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced the approval of Dovonex Psoriasis 50microgram/g Ointment, which will be available through pharmacies without prescription.
The availability of the medicine from pharmacies is to increase the choice people have of where to obtain treatment when their condition recurs. The aim is give access for people with diagnosed psoriasis the opportunity to buy the ointment from a chemist without a prescription, but it is not intended to be a replacement of the current diagnosis and reviews that would be offered by a doctor.
The product will be called ‘Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment’ and contains calcipotriol, a vitamin D analogue and the medication will be supplied as ointment in a 60g tube.The name and packaging will be different to the current prescription only product, which will still be available on prescription from a doctor.
It will only be sold after a consultation with a pharmacist and is suitable for adults aged over 18, with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis which has been previously diagnosed by a doctor.
This treatment can be used for up to 12 weeks after which people will be advised to see their doctor about ongoing treatment.
Pharmacists and their staff will be able to provide suitable advice to the patient to ensure that the product is suitable for them. The outer packaging and the patient information leaflet also include an image of plaque psoriasis which will help both pharmacists and patients in this respect.
MHRA is committed to widening access to medicines for the benefit of public health when it is safe to do so. The product was reclassified following a public consultation held earlier this year.
Dr Sarah Branch MHRA’s Deputy Director of VRMM said:
"Psoriasis is a chronic disease which can have a major impact on people’s quality of life. By making this medicine more widely available, patients will be able to treat flare ups quickly without the need for a prescription."
Ash Soni, the RPS President said:
"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. Pharmacists are already able to sell products for the treatment of psoriasis with appropriate advice on management, application and side effects. We welcome the addition of Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment to the range of products available.
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."
MHRA press release