One in 5 patients undergoing systemic treatment for psoriasis still have considerable problems with their disease, according to a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment.
"Our results suggest that the currently available treatments are not sufficiently treating patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis," said Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. "So in order to manage their disease, more patients need access to currently available biologic agents as well as other new and more efficacious treatments."
The study showed that despite having an ongoing systemic treatment, 18% of patients still had extensive psoriasis lesions and/or suffered impairment of their skin-related quality-of-life.
The study was based on PsoReg, which is the Swedish quality register for systemic treatment of psoriasis. A total of 2,646 psoriasis patients who had been receiving systemic treatment for at least 3 months were included in the study, which analysed their most recent visit registered in PsoReg. Disease severity was measured either by the physician's clinical assessment and/or by the patient's own assessment of their skin-related quality of life.
Compared with the larger patient group, the subgroup of patients with suboptimal therapy-response were younger and had higher body mass index. They were also more often suffering from psoriasis arthritis and were more often smokers.
The subgroup with higher persisting psoriasis severity also reported worse overall quality-of-life, measured with the standard evaluation method EQ-5D questionnaire.
"That almost 1 in 5 patients had highly active disease activity, despite ongoing systemic treatment, is concerning," said Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf, Umeå University.
Based on the results, the authors suggest that for patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, who are using conventional systemic treatments, biologics should be considered. Patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, who already receive biologics, may need new treatment options. And lastly, the patients should also receive support in improving lifestyle factors.
SOURCE: Umeå University
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