- Psoriasis remains undertreated in the US due to factors such as concerns about side effects, monitoring requirements, and the use of injectable treatments.
- TYK2 inhibitors, like orally administered deucravacitinib, represent a promising new treatment option for psoriasis.
- Numerous hurdles, including treatment costs, specialist availability, insurance coverage, and safety concerns need addressing for effective psoriasis care.
Understanding the Under-treatment of Psoriasis in the United States
Psoriasis, a prevalent skin disorder marked by the rapid build-up of skin cells, remains an undertreated condition in the United States. This is largely due to multiple factors, such as patient and physician apprehension about side effects, requirements for lab monitoring, and anxiety concerning injectable therapies. In a recent presentation at Dermatology Week 2023, Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD, highlighted the potential of TYK2 inhibitors as an exciting new treatment approach for this chronic disease.
The Emergence of TYK2 Inhibitors: A New Hope for Psoriasis Patients
TYK2 inhibitors, with deucravacitinib leading the way, are an emerging class of oral medications that could offer a promising alternative for psoriasis patients, particularly those hesitant about injections.
Deucravacitinib: The Forefront of TYK2 Inhibitors
Approved by the FDA, deucravacitinib is taken orally at a dose of 6 mg per day and functions by obstructing the signaling pathway from two key proteins, IL-12 and IL-23, which are responsible for activating Th17 cells – the primary instigators in psoriasis development. Dr. Cohen suggested that deucravacitinib could serve as a first-line therapy or as a treatment for patients who haven’t responded satisfactorily to other therapeutic options, such as injectable biologics. In certain cases, there could also be an opportunity to combine deucravacitinib with other treatments to control acute flares. However, he emphasized that more research is needed in this regard to establish the safety and effectiveness of such combination therapy.
Addressing Barriers to Effective Psoriasis Care
However, the path to widespread TYK2 inhibitor use isn’t without hurdles. Issues such as treatment costs, dermatologist availability, insurance coverage, and safety concerns pose significant barriers to psoriasis care. Dr. Cohen strongly advocated for the need to address these barriers through strategies that promote patient satisfaction and enhance treatment adherence.
The Importance of Shared Decision-Making in Psoriasis Management
Moreover, shared decision-making emerged as a fundamental component of psoriasis management, according to Dr. Cohen. This can be achieved through the use of decision aids, clearly explaining to patients their treatment options, and designing treatment plans centered around patient preferences.
Strategies to Enhance Patient Adherence to Psoriasis Treatment
To boost adherence to therapy, he recommended regular follow-ups after starting treatment, use of telemedicine, patient education, and linking medication use to specific daily actions.
The adoption of TYK2 inhibitors for psoriasis treatment may pave the way to improving patient outcomes and satisfaction. As we continue to monitor the developments in this field, the importance of overcoming care barriers and promoting shared decision-making cannot be overstated.
Learn more about Dr. Cohen’s presentation on The Dermatologist, Linked Here.