Verkazia approved by SMC

An eye drop has been approved for use by the NHS in Scotland for patients with severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis


Verkazia, an eye drop emulsion containing 0.1% ciclosporin, has been approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to treat severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) in children from four years old and adolescents.

VKC is a chronic allergic eye condition that is most common in children and adolescents. Its symptoms include intense itching, painful eyes and light sensitivity. Without treatment it can cause corneal ulcers and, in some cases, vision loss.

Medical affairs consultant at Santen, Dr Atiya Kenworthy highlighted that the ophthalmic company has worked in collaboration with the SMC regarding the drug.

Commenting on the SMC’s decision to approve Verkazia for use by the NHS in Scotland, he said: “The SMC’s decision to approve Verkazia marks a real turning point for everyone affected by this distressing condition in Scotland, providing, at last, an effective, licensed option which can be used to sustainably control the signs and symptoms of severe VKC.

On learning of the approval, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Aravind Reddy, said: “The approval of Verkazia is a game changer in Scotland. I see a significant number of children with VKC in my practice, and traditionally we have had to rely on unlicensed treatments to manage the disease. Verkazia does not have the side-effects associated with topical steroid use, and I am sure that parents and the healthcare profession are breathing a sigh of relief now that a licensed, effective treatment is available for this distressing disease.”

The recommended dose of Verkazia is one drop four times a day to each affected eye.

The eye drops were approved by the European Commission in July this year.