Pharmac has announced funding for both Secukinumab (for severe psoriasis) and Omalizumab (for chronic hives) as of October 2018. These can be prescribed by a Dermatologist only.
Secukinumab is a new biologic drug for treating severe psoriasis. Biologic drugs have revolutionised the treatment of severe psoriasis.
Due to its different mode of action from other biological drugs, the availability of Secukinumab provides greater flexibility and more options in treating patients. It has the same safety profile as other biological drugs, and is injected every four weeks.
Omalizumab is a biological drug for the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria. Chronic urticaria (regular or prolonged weals / hives / swellings) of unknown cause is a distressing problem for which there have been limited treatment options. These include anti-histamines, Cyclosporin and Prednisone. The availability of Omalizumab will provide a novel new treatment option for patients with this condition and is very exciting.