Newer, more expensive psoriasis drugs only slightly more effective than older therapies under real world conditions

More expensive biologic treatments for psoriasis were only marginally more effective than standard treatments, according to a new study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers found that previously reported response rates from randomized controlled trials were higher than results in a clinical, real-world setting. The research was published in the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives Journals.

The researchers found that biologics were slightly more effective than a standard drug treatment for , methotrexate, but that their impact was less then what has been reported in clinical trials which study efficacy of a medication under idealized circumstances and only for a short period of treatment.

"When one looks at the outcome as being clear, or almost clear [skin], the biologics appear to be more effective than methotrexate," said study author Joel Gelfand, MD, assistant professor of and Epidemiology. But, when total body surface area affected by the disease is added in that difference diminishes, he said. More importantly, patients noted no differences in health related quality of life with the newer biologic medications compared to which has been used for psoriasis for over 40 years.

Gelfand noted that while the newer biologics are generally tolerated better by patients, with fewer side effects that lead to stopping the medication, their effectiveness diminishes with time. Traditional treatments may cause nausea and other potential side effects. Since psoriasis is a life-long disease, patients on biologics are often left with only a relatively short period of optimum control of their psoriasis.

Biologics can cost $10,000 to $20,000 a year, compared to a couple of thousand dollars for older drugs or , said Gelfand.

Related Stories

Study compares effectiveness of psoriasis treatments

Apr 20, 2012

(HealthDay) -- The effectiveness of therapies for psoriasis is variable, and may be lower in real-world settings than in trial settings, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of ...

Costs of psoriasis treatments outpace inflation

Jan 18, 2010

Findings from a cost model suggest that expenses for systemic psoriasis therapy appear to be increasing at a faster rate than inflation, and newer biologically derived treatments are more expensive than traditional systemic ...

Recommended for you

Ebola death toll passes 3,300: WHO

50 minutes ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola epidemic has now soared past 3,300, with the virus killing almost half of the more than 7,000 people it has infected, according to World Health Organization figures released ...

Dallas ER sent Ebola-infected patient home

1 hour ago

A Dallas emergency room sent a man with Ebola home last week, even though he told a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, and officials at the hospital are considering if they would have ...

US hunts contacts of seriously ill Ebola patient

2 hours ago

US health officials scoured the Dallas area Wednesday for people—including schoolchildren—who came in contact with a Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola, as it emerged a hospital mix-up saw him initially turned ...

Australia lifts Ebola donation to $16 million

2 hours ago

Australia more than doubled its donation to the fight against Ebola in West Africa to 18 million Australian dollars ($16 million) on Thursday, but resisted demands to send personnel.

User comments