A pill to cure eczema has been approved by NICE, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence www.nice.org.uk. The pill stops the immune system from using inflammation in eczema. The press has heralded it as brilliant news for everyone with eczema.
Or is it? As with actual eczema, when you look a bit deeper the complications arise. These are the sorts of things they don’t tell you; the sort of details we like to reveal.
- There are actually three drugs, two are taken orally and one is injectable.
- NICE have not approved the drugs being discussed in the press. They intend to but they have not done so yet and they are very specific about that. Even though I have access to the final draft I will avoid quoting a report which is confidential until published.
- All three drugs are only for patients with moderate or severe eczema which means having eczema over 10% or more of their skin. Therefore the vast majority of eczema sufferers and not included.
- None of the drugs will be approved for children under 12 years of age. So the huge number of babies and young children who suffer from eczema are not included.
- The side-effects of the drugs revealed in the NICE report can not be quoted until the report is published. However you can see the side-effects on the company websites if you are a medical professional. The drugs work by reducing the capacity of the immune system so immune response will be reduced. One site says a very common adverse reaction is upper respiratory tract infections. They stress there have been reports of serious infections. Do you agree with me that is a significant issue during the current COVID pandemic?
- All JAK inhibitor drugs, including the two pills being discussed, are currently subject to a European Medicines Agency safety review. This is because of a potential class effect of increased risk of major cardiovascular events and higher risk of developing cancer.
Are the press and companies playing with your mind? The press have made this a good news story and as is often the case they’ve left out the important parts. The drug companies have their own reason to say it’s good news and NICE will do what they are tasked to do. All three drugs will be approved soon.
Now for the big question. Why would anyone want to stop the immune system reacting in atopic eczema? That inflammation is there to protect the person from products being applied to the skin. In addition to stopping the protective immune response they are adding new threats of severe respiratory tract infections, major cardiovascular events and high risks of developing cancer.
Something is very wrong here. I argue that the way to address atopic eczema is for people to learn now to explain eczema. They learn what is causing the irritation reaction they’ve always known as eczema. As soon as they know the cause they gain the choice of doing more of the same and achieving more eczema, or doing something different and watching the skin heal itself.
We do not cure their eczema and neither do they. They are cured of the mindset that eczema must go on and on. If they choose to continue maintaining eczema they are allowed to. If they prefer to watch their skin heal itself that is now an available choice.
So what is the purpose of these new, powerful and hazardous drugs? If you feel one answer is drug company profits then you have a fair point. I certainly fail to see any other reason when reducing the immune response in eczema is precisely what you do not want to do. Sadly the money going to those company profits will come out of NHS resources at the very time when the country can least afford it. And who do you think will have to pay the bill when any or all of the side-effects affect eczema patients treated with the drugs? It certainly won’t be the drug companies.
If you are ready for a change in mindset please visit our EXplain eczema page ……….