Psoriasis patients have fewer opportunities for biologics treatment

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Skin Health | Friday, March 04, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Psoriasis patients biologic treatment methodsPsoriasis patients have fewer opportunities for biologics treatment as they age. The findings suggest that age is a large factor when it comes to treatment options for psoriasis – a skin condition. The researchers found that an age increase of 30 years reduced access to treatment through biologics by 65 percent.

The study was led by Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf at Umeå University who explored an aging cohort with regards to access to pharmaceuticals for psoriasis. The study found that seniors do not have as much access to a new form of treatment – known as biologics – compared to their younger counterparts.

Biologics is a form of medicine that targets T cells or blocks immune system proteins. Although it is a more effective mode of treatment, it is often more expensive than traditional treatment options.

Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf said, “This result indicates that there are huge differences in access of treatments with biologics between patients who seem the same in all other aspects apart from age. The differences are becoming increasingly clear if you compare a mother to her daughter and suppose that there is a 30-year age difference. The chances for the mother to start a treatment with biologics are then a third in comparison to the daughter and the only reason for this is her age.”

The results show that improvements need to be made in order to boost equality when it comes to treatment methods.

The researchers looked at data from 1,465 psoriasis patients and measured the effects of aging on the access of biologics. Factors like gender, BMI, comorbidity (having illnesses other than psoriasis), severity of psoriasis, and the educational level of the patient were all taken into account.

Psoriasis is commonly treated with topical creams, but many patients seek out relief for their condition through biologics.

Psoriasis treatment options

Treatment options for psoriasis are dependent on the condition’s severity and which part of the skin is affected. Your doctor may get you started with a milder treatment in the beginning and then increase the intensity, if it’s unsuccessful.

Although there are many treatment options available for psoriasis, not all of them are effective, so it can be quite difficult finding the most effective one for you. Some treatment options for psoriasis include:

  • Topical – creams, ointments
  • Phototherapy – skin is exposed to certain ultraviolet lights
  • Systemic – oral and injected medications that target the entire body

Psoriasis treatment may require a regular review to determine its effectiveness and to see if any changes are needed.

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