Healthcare Industry News:  psoriasis 

Biopharmaceuticals Dermatology

 News Release - February 2, 2007

Survey Indicates People with Chronic Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis May Be Under-Treated

Severe psoriasis Associated with Lower Income

WASHINGTON--(HSMN NewsFeed)--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 (less than $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 (less than 3 percent BSA), moderate (3-10 percent BSA), or severe (greater than 10 percent 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 and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

About psoriasis

psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic disease, in which the immune system causes the skin to grow at an accelerated rate. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 7.5 million people in the United States suffer from psoriasis. The disease occurs among people of all ages, although it is most commonly diagnosed in early adulthood. Types of psoriasis include plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic. Due to genetic factors, certain people are more likely to develop psoriasis, but a "trigger" is usually necessary to make psoriasis appear. These triggers may include emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection, or reaction to certain drugs.

About the National psoriasis Foundation

The National psoriasis Foundation is the leading patient-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis, and their families. The psoriasis Foundation focuses on education, advocacy and research toward better treatments and a cure. For more information, please call the National psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800-723-9166, or visit

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit

Source: Amgen

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