The Save Your Skin Foundation is disappointed with the recent Record of Advice released by the Canadian Drug Expert Committee (CDEC) in regards to the innovative actinic keratosis (AK) treatment Picato (ingenol mebutate). We don’t feel the Record of Advice adequately addressed the important questions asked by the Common Drug Review (CDR) participating Drug Plans and didn’t take into account the benefits patients experience with this therapy.
The Save Your Skin Foundation is committed to principals that provide patients choice in their own treatment. Picato requires a 2 to 3 day dosing schedule as compared to older treatments that are dosed for up to 16 weeks, during which time significant serious skin reactions persist including burning, peeling, swelling and pain. A shorter dosing schedule greatly increases the likelihood of the treatment being completed by the patient.
AK is a common pre-cancerous skin condition that can lead to non-melanoma skin cancer. In fact, somewhere between 60 and 80 per cent of squamous cell carcinoma begin as actinic keratosis, and although AK lesions aren’t cancerous, people with AK are six times more likely to develop skin cancer than people without. This is why the effective treatment of AK is vital.
Based on the advance Picato represents for patients due to the significant improvement in treatment regimen and potential to increase patient adherence, the Save Your Skin Foundation commends the Provinces for initiating the Request for Advice. We now look to the Provinces and the manufacturer to ensure that patients have access to this important therapy.