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Costs and quality of life in patients with moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis in Germany: A multi-center study


Correspondence to
Prof. Dr. K. Reich
Dermatologikum Hamburg
Stephansplatz 5
D-20354 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49-40-35 10 75-0
Fax: +49-40-35 10 75-10


Background: This study evaluated costs, disease severity and health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients with moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis. Patients and Methods: Patients with a ‘psoriasis area and severity index’ (PASI) > 12 and/or a body surface area (BSA) > 10 were enrolled in dermatological practices and hospital outpatient departments (n = 184) and the total costs of illness generated during the last 12 months were retrospectively calculated. QoL was assessed using the SF-36 and the DLQI. Participants were stratified into three subgroups according to the treatment received during the 1 year documentation period; a) patients without and b) patients with phototherapy or standard systemic therapy, and c) patients who had failed, were intolerant or had contraindications to at least two standard systemic therapies. The study was performed before biologics became available for the treatment of psoriasis in Germany.

Results: Included patients had severe skin symptoms (mean PASI 18.2) and a highly impaired QoL (mean DLQI 10.6). Total annual costs amounted to € 6,709. Patients belonging to subgroup C had the most severe skin symptoms (mean PASI 22.2), the lowest QoL (mean DLQI 12.6), the highest hospitalization rate and largest loss of productivity.These patients produced the highest total costs of 8.831 €/y.

Conclusions: Patients who cannot (or can no longer) be adequately managed with standard treatments are characterized by high disease activity, high costs and reduced QoL. Improved treatment options particularly for these patients are medically necessary and appear economically sensible.