Since 2014, governments around the world have not done enough to improve the care of people living with psoriasis, says a new report issued by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company sponsored the report, “Encouraging policy action to address the psoriasis challenge.” It looks at how health systems in Canada and five European countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — are responding to the World Health Organization’s call for worldwide action against psoriasis, an autoimmune disease.
In 2014, all six countries adopted the WHO Psoriasis Resolution. Yet their governments have taken little or no action, according to the study, which finds that psoriasis awareness, support, diagnosis and treatment need improvement. The report recommends ways to overcome these challenges and ease the burden on both patients and the healthcare system.
The report determines that governments need to take more action to address the challenges of psoriasis. This includes the negative physical and mental health impact caused by the disease, as well as its increasing economic burden.
The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), a nonprofit organization based in Sweden and made up of psoriasis associations from around the world, welcomes the findings and says it’s important that “psoriasis is recognized not as a skin disease but as a chronic, noncommunicable, painful, disfiguring and disabling disease for which there is no cure.”
Psoriasis, which affects an estimated 125 million people worldwide, is often accompanied by severe chronic comorbidities such as psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases, the group noted.
“We know that psoriasis management to a great extent depends on national healthcare systems,” IFPA President Lars Ettarp said in a news release. “Some countries have well-established, well-functioning healthcare systems with adequate resources to help all patients. In other countries, this might not be the case. That’s why we strongly urge national governments to prioritize their healthcare system and set up a national advocacy plan on psoriasis. Steps like these are essential to start improving life quality for people with psoriasis across the world.”
Erin Huntington, vice-president of international corporate affairs at Lilly, said that despite WHO’s call to action in 2014, “much more clearly needs to be done” across Europe and Canada to help psoriasis sufferers.
“We hope that this new report will help draw attention to this debilitating condition, and encourage debate and action by policymakers, academics, medical practitioners and patient advocates and we look forward to playing our part,” she said.