More than 125 million people all over the world have psoriasis – a condition that is continuously under-diagnosed and under-treated, leading to needless suffering for many.
In conjunction to the 71st meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, IFPA, hosted a workshop to discuss what the future holds for the global psoriasis community.
(Miami Beach, FL, March 5, 2013)
The workshop, which assembled psoriasis experts and media representatives from all over the world, was aimed at increasing the understanding for the challenges connected to psoriasis, both for the individual patient and for the healthcare providers.
Psoriasis is a serious, inflammatory, noncommunicable disease, associated with an increased risk of developing severe co-morbid conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and psoriatic arthritis, as well as depression and even suicidal ideation. But yet there is a lack of recognition in many parts of the world for the burden this complex disease incurs on its sufferers.
“In many countries it can be difficult to get access to dermatologists, obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment options may be limited”, said Kenneth Gordon, Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who spoke at the workshop. “Healthcare professionals, advocacy organisations, and governments need to work together to ensure we are meeting the needs of the patients and their families.”
Medical advancements bring hope for the future
Psoriasis is a challenging disease, both to live with and to treat, but the workshop presented some hope for the future for the many millions suffering from psoriasis, as the research into its causes and its treatment has seen much progress over the last two decades. Dr Richard Langley, Director of Research in the Division of Clinical Dermatology & Cutaneous Science at Dalhousie University, presented an overview of the many advanced treatments that have become available only recently, along with an update on the novel small molecule immunomodulatory drugs that are in the pipeline.
“We of course welcome any new, efficient and safe treatments for psoriasis”, comments Lars Ettarp, President of IFPA. “No one treatment fits all, as psoriasis is a very complex disease, and it is important that the healthcare professionals have a wide battery of treatments at their disposal.”
Psoriasis must be recognised by both global and national health authorities
“Psoriasis can’t be cured, yet, but it can be treated”, Lars Ettarp continues. “For us it is imperative that both the national and the global health authorities recognise psoriasis as the serious disease it is, and that people with psoriasis get access to the care that they need and deserve. IFPA and its member organisations have campaigned vigorously for this and we are happy to see psoriasis on the agenda for the upcoming 133rd Executive Board meeting of the WHO in May of this year.”