Psoriasis impacts more than the skin – it often takes a toll on the patient’s psyche. In addition to treating the characteristic red, scaly rash, patients may experience embarrassment, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and stigma.
Almirall, based in Barcelona, Spain, which markets dermatological drugs, wants to shed light on this often hidden side of the disease in its new campaign, “Shedding Light on Psoriasis”.
More than 88% of patients diagnosed with psoriatic disease say it impacts their emotional well-being, said Mercedes Diz, Amirill’s director of business operations, citing a 2012 study.
“It’s a huge number,” Diz said. But another statistic makes clear the need for the campaign: 1 in 3 people think psoriasis is just a skin disease, she said.
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She said patients often face a “vicious cycle” where stress triggers flare-ups that can fuel more anxiety and stress.
For example, 43% of patients saw their illness worsen during the pandemic, she said, likely due to a combination of added stress and treatment delays during the lockdown.
Almirall launched the campaign, which includes a public service announcement and a website, on October 29 to coincide with World Psoriasis Day from the International Federation of Psoriasis Association (IFPA), which is part of the ‘United – Now act’ initiative of this organization, which aims to change the perception of the state.
The company promoted the campaign through digital and social media ads under the hashtag #SheddingLightOnPsoriasis.
“Beyond the skin, there is a human being, and we have to have an impact,” added Diz, explaining his company’s holistic approach to supporting patients.
The pharmaceutical company collaborated with Happify Health earlier this year on ‘Claro,’ a digital wellness program for people with chronic illnesses, and also launched a study to see how its monoclonal antibody tildrakizumab (marketed as Ilumetri) may improve general well-being. patients with psoriasis.
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The latest campaign comes as Almirall prepares to launch its new psoriasis drug in January, the topical cream Wynzora, after reclaiming the marketing rights in Europe from MC2 Therapeutics last February.
The drug obtained FDA approval in the United States in July 2020 and now has marketing authorization in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and in the UK as well as Austria under the name Winxory, the company said.
Ilumetri, an IL-23 inhibitor licensed from Sun Pharmaceuticals, and the immunomodulator Skilarence complete the company’s psoriasis portfolio.