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NICE overrules on eczema advice

Draft guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has clashed with the National Prescribing Centre's advice on eczema treatments.

The draft guidance has ruled out the use of the topical drug treatment pimecrolimus (Elidel), an immunomodulating drug, because of a lack of evidence and cost – contrary to NPC advice.

NICE has also recommended that GPs with a special interest in atopic eczema can initiate and monitor tacrolimus (Protopic) treatment whereas the NPC says only specialists should begin treatment.

Dr Stephen Kownacki, a GP in Wellingborough, North- amptonshire, and chair of the Primary Care Dermatology Society, said: 'We fear this is driven by cost rather than benefit for patients. Inevitably, new treatments cost more.'

Final recommendations from NICE are due in September.

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