Psoriatic Arthritis Patients Largely Undertreated

Specialty Pharmacy Times, March/April 2014, Volume 5, Issue 2

A large multinational study indicates that many psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients are not having their needs met in the treatment of their disease.

The study, published online in February 2014 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, surveyed 3426 psoriasis and PsA patients in North America and Europe. Of those surveyed, 79% had psoriasis alone while 21% had PsA.

Just over half (53%) of the PsA patients in the survey rated the disease as severe when conditions were at their worst. Despite the high number of people whose conditions were rated as severe, 59% of PsA patients in the survey were not receiving treatment or were only receiving topical treatment.

Among patients who received oral or biologic therapy, 57% of PsA patients receiving oral medication and 45% of patients receiving biologics discontinued their therapy. The most often cited reasons for discontinuing treatment were safety and tolerability issues and the lack or loss of efficacy.

Researchers noted that among unmet needs that warrant additional attention are improved severity assessment, PsA screening, and patient awareness. Additionally, 85 percent of patients surveyed indicated the need for better treatment options for the disease.