Guernsey Press

New treatment for alopecia could be available in island

A TREATMENT for alopecia recently recommended on the NHS could soon be made available to islanders.


The daily pill, called ritlecitinib or Litfulo, has been licensed for people aged 12 and over in the UK.

It helps fight inflammation to improve hair growth.

Health & Social Care said it understood that the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) was due to publish its guidance on the treatment on 27 March, and this guidance would then be assessed locally.

‘If the cost-effectiveness analysis demonstrates that it falls below the current threshold set by the States Assembly then this medication will be added to the white list and be available to Bailiwick residents,’ the committee said.

Ritlecitinib was approved for medical use in the United States in June 2023 and the European Union in September 2023.


Alopecia, or alopecia areata, is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, causing them to fall out.

It has many causes, including stress, infection and illness.

In severe cases, alopecia can cause hair loss across the body, including from the scalp, eyelashes, nasal hair, and hair on the skin.

The disease can leave people more vulnerable to infections, and reduces their ability to regulate their body temperature.

It is challenging to live with, and can cause severe emotional stress, as well as anxiety and depression.

Treatments for alopecia include corticosteroids and contact immunotherapy.

However, ritlecitinib would be the first ever treatment for routine commissioning on the NHS for treatment of severe alopecia areata for patients aged 12 and over.