Topical psoriasis treatment to be available without a prescription

Patients with psoriasis will be able to buy Dovonex (calcipotriol) ointment over the counter from pharmacies, following the MHRA's approval of a pharmacy version of the product.

The availability of Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment from pharmacies will allow patients to manage symptoms themselves. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The availability of Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment from pharmacies will allow patients to manage symptoms themselves. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment, containing the vitamin D analogue calcipotriol, will be available in a 60g tube for adults aged 18 years or over with previously diagnosed mild to moderate plaque psoriasis, after consultation with a pharmacist.

The existing prescription-only product Dovonex Ointment will continue to be available as a 30g pack.

Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment should be applied to the affected areas once daily for a maximum of 12 weeks, after which patients are advised to see their GP about ongoing treatment.

'By making this medicine more widely available, patients will be able to treat flare ups quickly without the need for a prescription,' said Dr Sarah Branch, the MHRA's deputy director of vigilance and risk management of medicines.

Psoriasis can have a severely detrimental effect on quality of life. According to the British Skin Foundation, the chronic skin condition affects 2% of the UK population.

Updated 26 September 2017

Following the publication of this article, Leo Pharma has advised that it no longer plans to market Dovonex Psoriasis Ointment in the UK.

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