New data released this week show that a significant number of people with psoriasis are being managed with repeat prescriptions and are not going to see their GP to discuss their treatment. Not accessing the best advice and treatment could leave these patients on out-of-date treatment regimens, and potentially at risk of long-term health problems, frustration, stress and unhappiness.
Psoriasis is a common condition affecting 1.8 million people in the UK. More than just a dry skin condition, psoriasis is a chronic immune disease that affects patients over a number of years, sometimes from childhood. Psoriasis is associated with an increased chance of developing other serious conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers. The condition can also have a significant physical, psychological and social impact on sufferers, and can limit their work opportunities and income.
The Psoriasis: Think Twice campaign, created by Leo Pharma, a PiF Partner, is designed to address patient needs and is supported by a Working Group of experts in the field of psoriasis care. The Working Group contains patients and healthcare professionals, including Clinical Psychologists, Pharmacists, GPs, Medicines Managers and Consultant Dermatologists, as well as representatives of the British Dermatological Nursing Group and the Primary Care Dermatology Society.
Two surveys were conducted to generate the Psoriasis: Think Twice data. A survey of 2,067 members of the general public investigated personal attitudes towards medicines usage and repeat prescribing, while a survey of 501 adult psoriasis patients addressed specifics regarding the management of their condition. All 501 psoriasis patients interviewed were being treated by a GP and currently receiving a topical treatment.
Key survey findings include:
• 1/3 of psoriasis patients have not had treatment reviewed for at least five years
• 1/2 of psoriasis patients are on a repeat prescription
• Almost 60% of psoriasis patients on a repeat prescription felt at a disadvantage
• Only just over 1 in 10 patients have their treatment reviewed by their GP when they need a new prescription
The campaign website includes tips for speaking to a GP, interactive tools about medicine use, a film and personal stories about coming to terms with living with Psoriasis, and answers to common patient questions about psoriasis.