Psoriasis now on the global health agenda



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved a historic resolution to fight the stigma suffered by people with psoriasis, a chronic skin disease affecting more than 125 million individuals worldwide. It is the first time that a stand-alone resolution on psoriasis has been on the agenda at the World Health Assembly. 


The resolution acknowledges that psoriasis can have serious physical as well as psychosocial implications for the individual. It also recognises that psoriasis remains highly stigmatised, not least due to a significant knowledge gap in the general population. The document contains a series of action points that aim to improve the quality of life for psoriasis sufferers worldwide.  
"At LEO Pharma we are passionate about helping people achieve healthy skin and, as such, are thrilled that the World Health Organisation has taken this stance today and given psoriasis the prominence that it deserves on the global health agenda. It is great news for the nearly 2 million people in the UK and Ireland living with psoriasis", said Geraldine Murphy, Managing Director, LEO UK/Ireland.
Matthew Patey, CEO of the British Skin Foundation added, “We welcome news from the World Health Assembly that a resolution has been passed on psoriasis for the very first time. If we can raise awareness of the impact of psoriasis, we can emphasise the need for further research into the disease. This research will allow us to provide better treatments for the chronic skin disease that can be so debilitating for its sufferers.”
Janice Johnson, Founder of Psoriasis Scotland Association Link Volunteers, who have long campaigned for greater recognition of psoriasis commented, "We at PSALV patient group and all 114,000 people in Scotland with skin and joint psoriasis (known as psoriatic arthritis) are delighted that our own Public Health Minister Michael Matheson MSP, amd the Scottish Government, are supporting the WHO Resolution.  These misunderstood debilitating conditions are often very serious, causing stigma, affecting quality of life, personal life and employment.  Psoriatic arthritis can be as disabling as rheumatoid arthritis, and needs early treatment.  One in five with any skin psoriasis are at risk."
The resolution aims to combat the stigma attached to psoriasis through increased disease awareness and improved disease information.  In the long term, the resolution is expected to help facilitate improved access to holistic care, ensuring that patients are not just treated for the physical symptoms of psoriasis, but also for comorbidities and the psychosocial issues they may face as a result of the visible nature of their psoriasis.
In addition, the resolution commits the WHO to delivering a global report on psoriasis in 2015.  The report will include the global incidence and prevalence of psoriasis and identify successful approaches for integrating the management of psoriasis into existing services.
For more information:
Julie Wong, Head of Communications, LEO Pharma UK/IE
Email:  Tel: 01844 276270 or 07825918989