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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017 Nov;31(11):1876-1883. doi: 10.1111/jdv.14515. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Patients with psoriasis have different preferences for topical therapy, highlighting the importance of individualized treatment approaches: randomized phase IIIb PSO-INSIGHTFUL study.

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University of British Columbia, Department of Dermatology and Skin Science and Probity Medical Research, Surrey, Canada.
Probity Medical Research and K Papp Clinical Research, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
LEO Pharma A/S, Ballerup, Denmark.
Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergy, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



Poor adherence to topical therapy in psoriasis remains an issue; it is associated with poor clinical outcomes, reduced quality of life and increased costs. Treatment-related factors leading to poor adherence include lack of efficacy, excessive time applying medication and poor cosmetic characteristics (e.g. slow absorption, greasiness).


To assess the topical treatment attributes that influence patient preference for fixed combination calcipotriol 50 μg/g (Cal) and betamethasone 0.5 mg/g as dipropionate (BD) foam vs. gel, as well as in comparison with the latest topical treatment (LTT) a patient received.


PSO-INSIGHTFUL was a Phase IIIb, prospective, multicentre (Canada/Germany), open-label, randomized, two-arm crossover study in patients aged ≥18 years with mild-to-severe psoriasis (NCT02310646). Following a washout period of up to 4 weeks, patients were randomized 1 : 1 to once-daily Cal/BD foam for 1 week, followed by Cal/BD gel for 1 week, or vice versa. Patients completed six questionnaires evaluating patient preferences.


A total of 213 patients were randomized; 118 had received a topical treatment in the previous 3 months. Based on the Subject's Preference Assessment, 50% of patients preferred Cal/BD foam and 50% preferred Cal/BD gel. Based on the Topical Product Usability Questionnaire (TPUQ), overall mean scores were high for both Cal/BD foam and gel, and were often significantly in favour of both products compared with LTT. Greater differences between Cal/BD foam and gel vs. LTT occurred when the previous treatment was an ointment or cream. Cal/BD foam was generally preferred by younger patients (aged 18-39 years), whereas Cal/BD gel tended to be preferred by older patients (aged ≥40 years). Results from other questionnaires were aligned with the TPUQ.


Patients with psoriasis have diverse needs and different preferences for topical treatment. This knowledge may help prescribers to choose the right formulation for the right patient, potentially leading to improved adherence and better treatment outcomes.

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