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GP confusion over NSAIDs is putting patients at risk

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has bowed to pressure from GPs and

patients and provided limited endorsement for the use of

immunomodulators in atopic eczema.

The institute's final draft guidelines recommend pimecrolimus (Elidel) for second-line treatment of moderate atopic eczema on the face and neck of children aged two to 16.

The decision is a sharp about-turn, as NICE completely ruled out the use of the treatment for atopic eczema in its earlier consultation.

Dr Stephen Kownacki, chair of the primary care dermatology society and a GP in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, said NICE had changed its mind because of pressure from GPs and patients.

'We're pleased NICE has seen the light. It's a restricted use, but I don't think that

is unreasonable for a new product'.

Dr Kownacki said the ruling was important because children have thinner skin than adults and long-term use of topical steroids on their faces and necks would be

'disadvantageous'.

NICE estimates that between 15 and 20 per cent of children have atopic eczema.

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