Dr Patrick Burnett Reviews Patient Survey Findings on Unmet Needs in Psoriasis

Patrick Burnett, MD, PhD, FAAD, chief medical officer of Arcutis Biotherapeutics, discusses findings of a recent survey exploring the emotional burden of plaque psoriasis and unmet needs related to current topical treatments.

Findings of a recent survey showed that a majority of patients with plaque psoriasis seek alternative topical treatment options, with potential barriers to treatment cited for those with intertriginous disease, said Patrick Burnett, MD, PhD, FAAD, chief medical officer of Arcutis Biotherapeutics.


Can you discuss key findings of the Skin Insights: Uncovering Psoriasis Survey?

Arcutis commissioned this Harris Poll survey of 570 US adults with plaque psoriasis. Importantly, they were being treated with topical treatment, and so that allowed us to better understand the emotional impact of psoriasis and the challenges related to currently available topical treatments for this patient population.

So, we got 507 US adults who were in this study, and of those, we had 320 who actually reported having psoriasis in their intertriginous areas. And that's one of the key things that we wanted to understand as well: this group of patients who have intertriginous psoriasis. Intertriginous areas means those areas where patients have skin-skin contact. So, this would be the armpits, under the breasts and stomach folds, between the buttocks, and also in the groin, and even genital psoriasis.

This study really allowed us to kind of better understand how this group of patients who are being treated with topicals, some of whom actually have intertriginous disease, are actually responding to the treatments that are out there and what it is that they're looking for.

Some of the key findings that we found were that actually 9 out of 10 patients wish that there were more effective topical treatment options. Right now, most patients are being treated with a steroid, and in fact, 8 out of 10 patients wish that they had more topical treatment alternatives to steroids. Unsurprisingly, that led to about 9 out of 10 patients reporting that they were interested in trying a new topical treatment.

So, that really helped us to kind of understand what is the level of interest in patients with topical treatments. Are they satisfied with what they have right now or is it that they're looking for something new?

The other key point is really around this intertriginous disease population. So these are patients who have this kind of localized form of psoriasis—they may also have the regular form of psoriasis—and we found that actually 64% of patients experienced having intertriginous psoriasis at some point in time in their disease history. And many of these patients didn't even recognize it as such until we showed them a picture of intertriginous psoriasis. This really highlighted the fact that patients with intertriginous disease may actually go relatively untreated, if they're not showing it to their doctor.

And in fact, kind of the last point—there's a lot in that study—but I think the last point that I would make is that 64% of patients, the same number again, with intertriginous disease of their psoriasis actually avoided showing it to their health care provider and the No. 1 reason that they raised for that was embarrassment.

So, when you have psoriasis in these areas, which are typically very hard to treat with existing topical treatments, and the patient is embarrassed to even show it to their doctor, what we learned is that this could be a barrier to patients getting the treatment that they need or getting the right treatment for the disease where they have it.

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