LEO Pharma unveils major breakthrough in psoriasis management

Ballerup 25 September 2008At the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Conference in Paris LEO Pharma has unveiled a new weapon in its long-running campaign to improve psoriasis management and treatment outcomes. However, the weapon is not a new drug but a ground-breaking computer-modelling tool, designed to help those involved in the assessment, planning and provision of psoriasis treatment in primary care to balance optimum outcomes with the growing need for cost control.

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Called "Psoriasis and Me", the new computerised resource simulates the impact of the use of a range of topical psoriasis therapies on patient outcomes and costs in a given primary care setting - e.g. at a General Practitioner's office. Co-developed in the United Kingdom by LEO Pharma and specialist health economics and outcomes research company Amygdala Ltd., "Psoriasis and Me" has been piloted with English service providers for the past 11 months and is already endorsed by the United Kingdom's National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).

The pilot has not only revealed the extent to which providers in England are unaware of the sizeable sums being spent on psoriasis but also the very real prospect of significant savings which could run into millions of pounds if replicated across the United Kingdom. "Health economics is an increasingly important factor in service redesign but it is often seen as a cold discipline that works against patient needs. 'Psoriasis and Me' demonstrates that this doesn't have to be the case", stated Peter Jackson, Commercial Development Manager for LEO UK.

"The programme has already shown that as a result of more effective prescribing for psoriasis in an English primary care population of, say, 250.000, yearly savings could be as high as GBP277.000. If you extrapolate that to the United Kingdom population as a whole (about 60 million), the potential annual saving could be as much as GBP66 million."

The programme has also received extremely positive feedback from clinicians who have seen it in operation. Keith Freeman, a United Kingdom Consultant Dermatologist with dual responsibility for services in a primary care trust and a foundation hospital trust, sees the programme as a very welcome and valuable aid for local decision making.

"The priority for service commissioners in treating psoriasis is to achieve the best pathways of care - to make sure that the right patients are being treated in the right place at the right time for the best possible outcomes. Treating effectively in primary care is better for the patient and also means secondary care resources can be focused on the most appropriate cases. Tools like this are the way forward to help clinicians review services, optimise care and keep better control of costs", stated Keith Freeman.

"Psoriasis and Me" works by comparing specific local data inputs - such as population size, waiting times for referrals to secondary care and the types and costs of treatments currently in use - to stored country-specific information and the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 75). It then generates a report which calculates the optimum financial savings that could be made in a service redesign which would also improve patient outcomes using the most effective treatments.

"For decades, LEO Pharma has been at the forefront of challenging psoriasis", stated Kristian Hart-Hansen, LEO Pharma's Manager of Corporate Pricing and Health Economics. "To date this has been with treatments but now that most countries insist on some form of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) to demonstrate cost effectiveness, we want to add value to the process. The idea for 'Psoriasis and Me' came from an HTA submission and, after the success of the United Kingdom pilot, its potential to reinforce our challenge to this life-affecting disease is very clear."

"Psoriasis and Me" is now under development for use in a number of Northern European countries and LEO Pharma plans to roll out the programme over the next two years. LEO Pharma is a global pharmaceutical company within Dermatology and Critical Care. The company maintains a strong focus on developing, manufacturing and marketing safe and efficacious drugs for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases as well as thrombo-embolic disorders. LEO Pharma is an independent pharmaceutical company, 100 percent owned by the LEO Foundation and represented in more than 90 countries. It employs around 3000 people around the world, 1200 of whom are based in Ballerup, Denmark.


Leslie Versweyveld

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