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Study: Many Not Treating Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis Effectively

Kara Anderson

A recently published study sheds new light on what it's really like to live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) Survey is the largest of its kind, and includes responses from more than 3,400 people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and 781 doctors across North America and Europe.

It looks at both quality of life issues and barriers to treatment. Some of the most noteworthy finds include:

  • Many people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are not currently seeing a physician.
  • Many with moderate to severe psoriasis are using only topical therapies to treat their symptoms.
  • 85 percent of respondents reported a need for better therapies.

It does raise an alarm," said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, professor and chair of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the study's lead investigator. "There are all these great treatments that are not reaching patients. It puts the onus on doctors, patient support groups and the patients themselves to seek out treatment if they are not getting satisfaction."

Almost 140,000 households in seven countries were contacted between June and August of 2012. This survey is the first to include patients whether or not they were under the care of a medical provider.

It is always of utmost importance to get patients' input, and this is absolutely true for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis," said Dr. Arthur Kavanaugh, professor of clinical medicine and director for the Center for Innovative Therapy at the University of California, San Diego, and one of the study's authors. "This large and rigorously done survey goes a long way to explore these diseases from the patients' standpoint, which is useful to other patients, to doctors and to the healthcare community at large as it shows that there is an unmet need in these important conditions."

The results show that many with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are unaware of long-term treatment options, and that those with psoriatic diseases might view severity differently from their health care providers.

For instance, 43 percent of interviewees with psoriasis and 40 percent with psoriatic arthritis reported itching as their most bothersome symptom, but according to health care providers, itching is rarely measured with current assessment tools.

The authors say that many unmet needs were uncovered as part of the study that will require further investigation and exploration.

The study was sponsored by Celgene.

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