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Last Updated: Jun 12, 2009 - 3:53:09 PM

Severe psoriasis associated with lower income

Feb 25, 2007 - 4:13:38 PM
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Washington, D.C., February 2, 2007 The National Psoriasis Foundation and Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), today announced survey findings which show that nearly 40 percent of 1,142 patients surveyed with chronic moderate or severe psoriasis are not currently receiving any treatment. These results were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Scientific Meeting in Washington, D.C.

According to AAD therapy guidelines, patients diagnosed with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy, including biologic agents. Despite the increased number of psoriasis treatment options, the findings show no significant change in treatment patterns across three survey years.

According to further data presented at AAD, based on National Psoriasis Foundation surveys from 2003 to 2005, more than half of moderate to severe patients on treatment are not being treated as recommended by AAD guidelines. Of those treated, 57 percent of patients with severe psoriasis (n=459) and 73 percent of patients with moderate psoriasis (n=683) are receiving topical treatment alone.

"Psoriasis is not a cosmetic disease, but rather a chronic inflammatory condition that can have a profound negative impact on a person's ability to function," said Mark Lebwohl, M.D., Chairman of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board. "It's important for patients to openly discuss with their dermatologist how the condition may be impacting them, so that together they can determine the most appropriate treatment option."

According to additional survey findings, severe psoriasis is associated with lower income. Data presented at AAD show that 21 percent of patients with severe psoriasis (n=179) had a low household income (<$30,000), compared to 13 percent for patients with mild psoriasis (n=180).

"These are the first data to show a relationship between psoriasis severity and household income," said Liz Horn, Ph.D., director of research, National Psoriasis Foundation. "Psoriasis is a serious disease that can significantly impact a patient's life by interfering with everyday activities, including work. Further research will be valuable in supporting these data and will hopefully lead to the improved treatment of psoriasis."

Data from semi-annual patient surveys conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation from 2003 to 2005 were combined and analyzed to study treatment patterns for psoriasis patients. Psoriasis severity was assessed using patient-reported affected body surface area (BSA) and was defined as mild (<3% BSA), moderate (310% BSA), or severe (>10% BSA). A separate analysis was conducted in patients greater than 30 years of age to study the relationship between psoriasis severity and household income. The research was funded by the National Psoriasis Foundation, Amgen Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

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