Study Finds High Costs for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

Treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is certainly no picnic for patients' pockets.

Treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is certainly no picnic for patients’ pockets.

In fact, a recent Pfizer-funded study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported most patients with plaque psoriasis are prescribed medications with six-month direct costs totaling approximately $11,291 per patient.

Caroline Schaefer, MBA, Covance Market Access Services, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, and colleagues evaluated current health care resource use, lost productivity, and costs among patients suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis.

The team enrolled a total of 200 adults, throughout nine US cities located in eight US states (Nebraska, Illinois, North Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas, California, Kentucky, and Florida), specifically seeking treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis. The patients were required to report their symptoms, treatment, lost productivity, and costs.

Standard algorithms were used to assign costs to health care resource use and lost productivity.

According to the study results, 79.5% of patients were prescribed one or more medications; meanwhile 36% and 9% patients were given self-administered biologics and systemic therapies, respectively.

The average six-month total direct cost was $11,291 per patient. Indirect cost per patient averaged $2,101, with higher costs associated with higher Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores.

With the costs remaining so high, further research is underway exploring avenues for different treatment methods.

Schaefer and colleagues concluded, “Despite treatment, a number of patients with MSPP continue to experience moderate to severe PASI scores, impaired functioning, and high costs suggesting a need for new treatment options.”