FDA approves new pill for psoriatic arthritis

By Laura Hundemer,

On Friday the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug called Otezla (apremilast) for treating arthritis associated with psoriasis. The medication, made by Celgene Corporation, is a pill. All other medications for this condition thus far are injections.

According to Businessweek, the painful arthritic joint condition occurs in 30 percent of the 125 million people worldwide who suffer from the skin condition psoriasis.

Sales of medications to treat the condition are in the billions. Analysts estimate that by 2017, Otezla sales alone could surpass $1 billion.

According to press release, Dr. Philip Mease, Director of the Rheumatology Clinical Research Division of Swedish Medical Center, said "OTEZLA works differently from other therapies approved for psoriatic arthritis through the intracellular inhibition of PDE4. The approval of an oral therapy with a novel mechanism of action for patients with psoriatic arthritis offers a different approach to patient care."

Testing of the pill yielded consistent results, proving the medication to be safe and successful in treating affected patients.

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