What is the latest treatment for psoriasis?
Q: My grand father who is 85 years of age is suffering from severe Psoriasis. He is being treated with Methotrexate since one year. This medicine though leading to longer remissions has not cured the disease. Recently, I heard of a new medicine called Inj. Amivive (Alefacept) which was launched in US some 8 months back. My question is: 1. Can this medicine fully cure Psoriasis? 2. What is the cost of this medicine? 3. Is this medicine available in India? If not, how we can bring this here? 4. What is the dosage? 5. How effective is this medicine? 6. How good is this medicine in comparission to Methotrexate?
A:Alfacept and all similar medicines, called Biologicals, have, as you correctly pointed out, recently been introduced in the US market. Most physicians have rather limited experience with this medicine. The reviews published by people with reasonable experience seem to suggest it to be an exceptionally useful medication. I have no personal experience with the medicine and to my knowledge this medicine is not available in India. The medicine is recommended only for patients who do not respond to mediicnes like methotrexate. One of my patients has responded excellently to this medication. The cost is a few thousand dollars a year.