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

Sickle cell trait tied to increased pulmonary embolism risk

13 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For African-Americans, sickle cell trait is associated with an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, but not deep vein thrombosis, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis an ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.