Survey Says Psoriatic Arthritis Patients Are Undertreated

According to survey, current treatment options are not serving the needs of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients believe new effective treatment options are needed, according to a recent patient survey.

The Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) survey included perspectives from 781 physicians and 3,426 patients in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. An analysis of the results was published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Overall, 85 percent of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients surveyed thought that better therapies are needed. Although oral medications and biologics are available to treat the diseases, almost 60 percent of patients reported they were not currently receiving treatment.

“Many patients are not eligible for or refuse to initiate treatment with the available oral and biologic therapies, and the remainder are subject to early treatment discontinuation,” Lauren Schrier, global product manager at Celgene, said.

Overall, 85 percent of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients surveyed thought that better therapies are needed.

Indeed, 57 percent of surveyed patients who had taken an oral medication discontinued treatment. For those who had taken a biologic, 45 percent discontinued treatment.

While patients cited several reasons for discontinuing treatment, the most common answers were safety, tolerability and effectiveness. These findings underscore the need for effective new treatment options that have side effect profiles patients can deal with.

“If one cannot take the biologics, what else is there?” Sue Ellen, a psoriatic arthritis patient, wrote in a blog post. The biologic therapies that she tried were either ineffective or caused adverse reactions

“We are always trying to find another drug for treating these patients,” Christopher Morris, MD, a private-practice clinician in Kingsport, Tenn., said in an interview with MedPageToday. Morris believes that a newer therapies may provide patients who are not responsive to biologics with another option.

As health care moves toward a patient-centered model, clinical researchers should listen to the needs of patients, to develop therapies that patients will appreciate. Improving treatment adherence, by addressing the reasons patients discontinue therapy, can lessen the burden of disease.