This initiative represents a first-of-its-kind collaboration between international and national advocacy organisations dedicated to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to address areas of unmet needs and issue a unified call-to-action. The consensus statement provides key stakeholders with a roadmap on how to improve the standards of care for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis so that they may live full and healthy lives.
“The burden of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is significant, and yet throughout the world there is a vast variation in the quality of care patients receive,” said Joanne Simons, chief mission officer, The Arthritis Society. “It is therefore critical that we raise awareness of the impact of these often debilitating diseases, and work to provide real solutions to meet the needs of people affected by them.”
The consensus statement outlines how key stakeholders can come together to:
• Reduce the time to diagnosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
• Improve treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including access to medical specialists and medications
• Assist patients, caregivers and medical professionals in managing the burden of these diseases
The full consensus statement can be viewed for free at http://www.ifpa-pso.org/web/page.aspx?refid=16
“Despite the fact that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are serious chronic diseases with a significant impact on quality of life, they are not recognized by both global and national health authorities and their effects are often ignored,” said Randy Beranek, president and CEO, National Psoriasis Foundation. “We want to send a message to healthcare organizations and professionals, regulatory bodies, industry, governments, academia and patient advocacy groups that greater attention and resources need to be allocated to this patient population.”
Highlighted in the consensus statement is the need for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to be recognized as distinct, serious diseases by key decision makers in order to ensure appropriate support services and research funding are dedicated to this population. Specifically, the consensus statement supports adoption of a resolution that will be voted on at the upcoming 67th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) in May which would result in psoriasis being recognized as a serious noncommunicable disease (NCD) that needs greater public awareness of its inflammatory nature, psychosocial impacts and shared risk factors with other NCDs.
“The passing of the WHO resolution will be an important step forward in ensuring that the actions outlined by this patient advocacy group-led consensus statement are addressed on a global scale,” said Lars Ettarp, president, International Federation of Psoriasis Associations. “We encourage any group or person dedicated to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to take action with us to ensure these serious conditions, which often are associated with life-long complications, receive the recognition they need.”
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, a form of inflammatory arthritis that attacks the joints and tendons. There is a severe burden on people who live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is largely regarded by as treatable skin complaint; however, nearly 60 percent of people with psoriasis report their disease as a significant problem in their everyday life. These diseases are also associated with serious comorbidities that can reduce life expectancy such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, the associated stigmas of these diseases lead to depression in many people and can heavily impact life choices, for example, career decisions and personal relationships.