Study: People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis spend thousands on health care

Giving up on treatment and prohibitive costs remain the primary reasons for not seeking care

Infographic: Accessing Care + Psoriasis and Psoriatic ArthritisNearly a quarter of people with psoriasis seek care for their disease from a primary care physician, and insurance status affects how psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients seek care, according to data from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). Respondents cited giving up on treatment and prohibitive costs as the primary reasons for not seeking care.

A team of psoriasis researchers led by Dr. April Armstrong of the University of California, Davis, analyzed eight years of NPF data to determine the access-to-care issues and out-of-pocket costs facing people with psoriatic diseases.

Of the more than 5,600 people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis analyzed, 92 percent of patients had seen at least one physician in two years. Among those seeking care, 22 percent saw a primary care doctor.

When asked for reasons why they did not see a specialist—dermatologist or rheumatologist—to treat their disease, most patients said they had either given up on treatment (28 percent), it was too expensive (21 percent) or it was too much of a hassle (11 percent).

Although roughly 91 percent of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients were covered by insurance, the majority spent greater than $2,500 per year in out-of-pocket costs for their disease.

Other findings reveal that patients with access to insurance and those with severe psoriasis were significantly more likely to see a specialist to treat their disease. Compared to males, women are 1.5 times more likely to seek care.

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January 14, 2013

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research funding, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million Americans affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $21 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at