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Life-changing treatment for eczema now available for older children

National Eczema Society was delighted to hear that the European Medicines Agency has now approved dupilumab (brand name Dupixent) for the treatment of 12-17 year-olds with moderate-to-severe atopic eczema.

 

Following this announcement on 6 August 2019, children in England who are eligible for dupilumab can start treatment at designated NHS centres in England. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, decisions are expected towards the end of this year, or the beginning of 2020.

Dupilumab has been available for 12-17 year-olds for some months now under the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS), prior to regulatory approvals being granted. This recent decision means that the EAMS for dupilumab has now closed, and anyone who started their dupilumab treatment under the EAMS process will continue as before.

To be eligible for dupilumab, children need to be candidates for systemic eczema treatments, which are tablets or injections that work throughout the entire body. There are two sorts of systemic treatment: systemic non-biological therapy and systemic biological therapy.

Dupilumab is currently the only biological therapy approved in the EU for adolescents with eczema. It was awarded approval (known as ‘marketing authorisation’) by the European Medicines Agency based on the drug’s Phase III research trial results. These showed dupilumab significantly improved the extent and severity of eczema, itch intensity and sleep and health-related quality of life. The drug’s safety profile in children aged 12-17 years is consistent with the safety data for adults.

Dupilumab was approved in the EU for use in adults with moderate-to-severe eczema who are candidates for systemic therapy in 2017, and was made available for routine use on the NHS in 2018.

Life-changing treatment for eczema now availabl...

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