Every August, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) encourages its community of members and supporters to take action in the fight against psoriasis. Action can take several forms, including donating to fund research, participating in a virtual action day, or spreading information through social media channels.
Now is the time for brand managers and media planners to connect with physicians and healthcare providers, especially rheumatologists and dermatologists, to spread the word about Psoriasis Action Month and the impact psoriasis has on millions of people worldwide.
The Impact of Psoriasis
According to the NPF, psoriasis affects over 8 million people in the U.S. and 125 million people worldwide. This inflammatory disease can have a dramatically negative effect on patients’ quality of life. Symptoms include red, itchy, scaly skin, as well as joint pain. Most patients need help from both dermatologists and rheumatologists to treat their symptoms and determine the underlying cause of their psoriasis.
Studies have found that, in addition to managing symptoms, patients have to deal with social restrictions, clothing discomforts, and limitations in professional activities, which all contribute to a decreased quality of life.
Psoriasis Therapies on the Market
To date, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, several therapies on the market can help patients find some relief for their symptoms.
Some mild cases of psoriasis can be treated with topical ointments, such as lotions, creams, or sprays. Mild cases are considered those that cover less than 10 percent of the patient’s body.
In some mild cases, injecting steroids directly into an isolated psoriatic plaque can help.
Doctors may recommend that their patients with moderate to severe psoriasis who cannot find relief using other methods try light therapy. This method requires shining ultraviolet (UV) light directly onto the skin to reduce the symptoms and appearance of psoriatic plaques. In some cases, the plaques may clear up altogether for several months.
Often, prescription medication is the best form of therapy for patients, though they can come with some severe side effects. Some medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on the market include the following:
- Acitretin (Soriatane): An oral medication that should not be used by women who are pregnant or might become pregnant, as it can cause severe congenital disabilities.
- Cyclosporine: An immunosuppressive drug that is also used for organ transplant patients. It can have immediate effects but can be difficult to go off without causing a flare.
- Methotrexate: A drug commonly used to treat arthritis that may cause liver damage.
- Apremilast: A drug newly approved by the FDA that can reduce redness, itchiness, and joint pain in patients.
In 2021, there are over 130 drugs in the psoriasis pipeline. One is a topical roflumilast cream, which inhibits an enzyme known to increase proinflammatory mediator production. It is currently in phase three of clinical development.
Another therapy being tested is the ATP competitive receptor-interacting protein-1 kinase inhibitor GSK2982772. This protein has been shown to regulate inflammation and is currently in phase one clinical development.
Spread the Word with HealthLink Dimensions
In a post-pandemic world, non-personal promotion (NPP) is becoming increasingly important for brand managers and media planners. This is especially important when trying to engage with rheumatologists and dermatologists. That’s why HealthLink Dimensions is trusted by 11 of the top 15 life science companies for marketing and database management.
We offer email deployment, programmatic, and mobile connectivity solutions, including custom segments through our programmatic partnership with LiveRamp that are specifically designed to reach script-writing physicians treating psoriasis patients. Contact us today to learn more.