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BMC Dermatol. 2018 Jun 28;18(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s12895-018-0072-2.

Real-world health outcomes in adults with moderate-to-severe psoriasis in the United States: a population study using electronic health records to examine patient-perceived treatment effectiveness, medication use, and healthcare resource utilization.

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Department of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90033, USA.
Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.



Little is known regarding real-world health outcomes data among US psoriasis patients, but electronic health records (EHR) that collect structured data at point-of-care may provide opportunities to investigate real-world health outcomes among psoriasis patients. Our objective was to investigate patient-perceived treatment effectiveness, patterns of medication use (duration, switching, and/or discontinuation), healthcare resource utilization, and medication costs using real-world data from psoriasis patients.


Data for adults (≥18-years) with a dermatology provider-given diagnosis of psoriasis from 9/2014-9/2015 were obtained from dermatology practices using a widely used US dermatology-specific EHR containing over 500,000 psoriasis patients. Disease severity was captured by static physician's global assessment and body surface area. Patient-perceived treatment effectiveness was assessed by a pre-defined question. Treatment switching and duration were documented. Reasons for discontinuations were assessed using pre-defined selections. Healthcare resource utilization was defined by visit frequency and complexity.


From 82,621 patients with psoriasis during the study period, patient-perceived treatment effectiveness was investigated in 2200 patients. The proportion of patients reporting "strongly agree" when asked if their treatment was effective was highest for biologics (73%) and those reporting treatment adherence (55%). In 16,000 patients who received oral systemics and 21,087 patients who received biologics, median treatment duration was longer for those who received biologics (160 vs. 113 days, respectively). Treatment switching was less frequent among patients on systemic monotherapies compared to those on combination therapies. The most common reason for discontinuing biologics was loss of efficacy; the most common reason for discontinuing orals was side effects. In 28,754 patients, higher disease severity was associated with increased healthcare resource utilization (increased visit frequency and complexity). When compared between treatment groups (n = 10,454), healthcare resource utilization was highest for phototherapy. Annual medication costs were higher for biologics ($21,977) than oral systemics ($3413).


Real-world research using a widely implemented dermatology EHR provided valuable insights on patient perceived treatment effectiveness, patterns of medication usage, healthcare resource utilization, and medication costs for psoriasis patients in the US. This study and others utilizing EHRs for real-world research may assist clinical and payer decisions regarding the management of psoriasis.


Costs; Dermatology; Discontinuation; EHR; Electronic health records; Healthcare resource utilization; Outcomes; Psoriasis; Switching; Treatment effectiveness

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