Novartis reports over half of psoriasis patients do not reach the achievable treatment goal of clear skin in largest global survey

NovartisNovartis presented new findings from the largest global survey to date of people with psoriasis, showing many do not achieve the treatment goal of clear skin or even believe it is a realistic goal[1]. People with the disease also report that they face discrimination, humiliation, and mental illness, according to the research presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.

While real-world evidence presented at EADV demonstrated that clear skin significantly improves quality of life[2], the survey found over half (57%) did not achieve clear or almost clear skin, and nearly a third of people (28%) had to wait five years before receiving treatment that resulted in clear or almost clear skin[1].

"Every patient deserves the opportunity to achieve clear skin, but this research tells us many are not given the chance," said Vasant Narasimhan, Global Head, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. "Novartis supports the World Health Organization's resolution to make psoriasis a global health priority and help patients overcome the heartbreaking physical, societal and psychological challenges the condition presents."

Over 8,300 people from 31 countries took part in the survey, which aimed to improve the understanding of patients' perspectives on clear skin and, importantly, the impact of not achieving it. This major research initiative represents the largest ever partnership between Novartis and patient organizations, including 25 groups from around the world.

The survey findings reinforce the need for greater education and engagement of healthcare professionals and patients about the achievability of clear or almost clear skin as a treatment goal. In addition, they demonstrate the detrimental impact psoriasis has on patients' lives. The majority of people surveyed (84%) were suffering discrimination and humiliation, while almost half (43%) of patients felt psoriasis had affected their relationships and made it difficult to form intimate relationships[1].

A third of people (38%) surveyed also reported that they have been diagnosed with a psychological condition due to psoriasis, with one in four diagnosed with anxiety (24%) or depression (25%)[1]. Patients with anxiety or depression were also found to suffer more severe disease and worse quality of life in other research presented at EADV[3], further emphasizing the link between the psychological and physical aspects of the disease.

Further information and results from the survey are available at www.skintolivein.com/Ask4Clear. Skin To Live In is an online hub from Novartis with social media channels across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, that is dedicated to educating and supporting patients with severe skin conditions, including psoriasis.

Novartis is committed to people living with psoriasis and has launched the Ask Your Dermatologist campaign, which is supported by patient and medical groups. The campaign, currently launched in several countries including Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria, aims to inspire and encourage people with psoriasis to re-engage with their dermatologist to discuss treatment expectations and prioritize how they can improve their quality of life. To find out more about this campaign, please visit http://www.askyourderm.com.

About psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious, autoimmune disease that affects up to 3% of the world's population[4]. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. Psoriasis is not simply a cosmetic problem, but a persistent, chronic (long-lasting), and often distressing disease which can affect even the simplest aspects of people's daily lives. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis have, or will, develop psoriatic arthritis, in which the joints are also affected, causing debilitating symptoms including pain, stiffness and irreversible joint damage[5,6]. Psoriasis is also associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression[5].

About the psoriasis patient survey
Novartis initiated and funded the survey, which was conducted by the market research company Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) Switzerland. The survey was supported by a prestigious steering committee of medical experts from around the world. With 8,338 participants, this is the largest global survey to date of people with psoriasis and is the first survey of its kind to focus on what achieving clear skin means to the quality of life for people with psoriasis.

Participants in the survey come from the following 31 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the US.

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2015, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.4 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 8.9 billion (USD 8.7 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world.

1. Warren RB et al. Patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis do not believe clearance of their skin is a realistic treatment goal: results from the largest global psoriasis patient survey. Presented at the 25th Annual European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2016. September 28 - October 2; Vienna, Austria
2. Geale K et al. Real-world data shows that achieving clear or almost clear skin significantly improves quality of life in patients suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis. Presented at the 25th Annual European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2016. September 28 - October 2; Vienna, Austria.
3. Naldi L et al. Greater burden of disease in systemic therapy eligible psoriasis patients with anxiety and/or depression: results from a large observational physician and patient survey. Presented at the 25th Annual European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2016. September 28 - October 2; Vienna, Austria.
4. International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) World Psoriasis Day website. About Psoriasis. Available at: http://www.worldpsoriasisday.com/web/page.aspx?refid=114. Accessed September 2016.
5. National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriatic disease: about psoriasis. Available at: www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis. Accessed September 2016.
6. Mease PJ, Armstrong AW. Managing patients with psoriatic disease: the diagnosis and pharmacologic treatment of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis. Drugs. 2014;74:423-441.

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