September 4, 2013
Treatment Nonexistent or Inadequate for Many
Psoriasis Patients

Sacramento, CA—Many patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis receive no or inadequate treatment, with dissatisfaction rates high among those who do, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of California-Davis in Sacramento, California.

The findings were based on surveys of 5,604 patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis by the National Psoriasis Foundation from January 2003 through December 2011. The report was published recently in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

“Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis inflict significant morbidity,” the report notes. “Data on under-treatment, treatment use, and treatment satisfaction are paramount to identify priority areas for advocacy, education, and research to improve patient outcomes.”

From 2003 through 2011, the percentage of untreated patients ranged from 36.6 to 49.2 of patients with mild psoriasis, 23.6 to 35.5 of patients with moderate psoriasis, and 9.4 to 29.7 of patients with severe psoriasis.
“Non-treatment and under-treatment of patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis remain a significant problem in the United States,” according to study authors.

For those receiving treatment, topical agents alone were used in 29.5% with moderate psoriasis and 21.5% with severe psoriasis. While biological agents were primarily discontinued because of adverse effects and lack of results, inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage also was among the top reasons for discontinuation, the surveys found. Biologic drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of psoriasis, include Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, and Remicade.

Methotrexate was found to be the most commonly used oral agent, with UV-B the most frequently used phototherapy modality.

Treatment dissatisfaction rates also were high: 52.3% of patients with psoriasis and 45.5% of patients with psoriatic arthritis expressed unhappiness with how their condition was being managed.

“While various treatment modalities are available for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, widespread treatment dissatisfaction exists. Efforts in advocacy and education are necessary to ensure that effective treatments are accessible to this patient population,” the authors conclude.

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect