NICE has approved omalizumab (Xolair), a fortnightly injection that could halve acute exacerbations of allergic asthma in adults and children over 12 years.
The institute said it should only be used if the asthma was severe and unstable despite other efforts to control it, and should be used alongside current asthma medications. If unsuccessful after 16 weeks, it should be stopped.
Final guidance has also been issued on inhaled corticosteroid use for chronic asthma in children under 12. For details see www.nice.org.uk