The Vitiligo Society was privileged to be present at a workshop the 11th May 2023 on set up by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (“NICE”). The session’s purpose was for a range of stakeholders to provide further feedback and information regarding the potential licensing of Ruxolitinib cream for the treatment of vitiligo in the UK. This is being considered by NICE as a treatment pathway option for people with non-segmental vitiligo who are aged 12 and above with facial involvement.
Ruxolitinib is a treatment for vitiligo that has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration in the USA and recently received approval by the European Medicines Agency. Consideration by NICE is a prerequisite for the cream to be made available in the UK.
The Vitiligo Society was represented by our Chairperson, John Dunster, and board trustee Alex Schneider. We were also very pleased and proud to see so many of our closest medical advisers and contributors to our most recent Summit last November present on the call. Dr Viktoria Eliftheriadou (Consultant Dermatologist at Walsall Healthcare & The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust), Dr Alia Ahmed (Consultant Psychodermatologist), Dr John Ferguson (Consultant Dermatologist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital, London) and last but not least our Society Patron, Professor David Gawkrodger, were amongst the notable experts in attendance.
The Vitiligo Society will support NICE with any further insights they require from our community as their due diligence work gets underway, and we will of course keep you all updated on any developments.
Who are NICE and why is the appraisal of Ruxolitinib and our involvement significant?
In England and Wales, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have the responsibility for carrying out an appraisal prior to any drug being approved for use through the National Health Service (NHS).
The appraisal process considers the outcomes of the treatment which are currently suggested as re-pigmentation; maintenance of response; cessation of spread or stabilisation of vitiligo; global assessment of vitiligo; cosmetic acceptability; adverse effects of treatment & health related quality of life. It also considers the cost effectiveness of the treatment, taking into consideration the impact the treatment has on quality of life.
Participation in this process means:
- we are ensuring that our community’s voice is being heard, that people living with vitiligo form part of this process.
- that NICE are aware that vitiligo is so much more than just a cosmetic condition – it can significantly impact a person physically, psychologically and socially.
- we can ensure that the true impact that more effective treatments could have on our community is understood by appraisal decision makers.
- we can give feedback so to whether NICE are asking the right questions during the consultation.
What is Ruxolitinib?
Ruxolitinib (Opzelura, Incyte) is a topical formulation. Ruxolitinib does not currently have a marketing authorisation in the UK for nonsegmental vitiligo. It is being studied in clinical trials comparing ruxolitinib with vehicle cream in people aged 12 years and older with non-segmental vitiligo. It was made available in the US and is currently awaiting approval in the EU and UK.
What happens next?
We’ll continue to share developments on this and any other treatment that NICE make us aware of, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter for updates. You can also follow the progress by visiting the NICE website.