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Psoriasis Cure Now Welcomes Institute of Medicine Report Urging 'Comparative Effectiveness' Research on Psoriasis, But Worries About Risk of Rationing
Date:6/30/2009

KENSINGTON, Md., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Psoriasis Cure Now," a nonprofit patient advocacy group, today applauded the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis among its Top 100 health topics meriting priority "comparative effectiveness" research, but the organization expressed concern that treatment rationing could result from the research.

The IOM included the use of biologics for treating inflammatory diseases including psoriatic arthritis among its top ("First Quartile") priorities for the first round of comparative effectiveness research, and included comparing the effectiveness of various treatments for psoriasis among its Second Quartile priorities. According to the IOM, "A committee convened by the IOM developed the list of priority topics at the request of Congress as part of a $1.1 billion effort to improve the quality and efficiency of health care through comparative effectiveness research outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009."

"We applaud the IOM committee for including treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis among its priority research areas, as it can be very challenging for patients with these lifelong diseases to navigate their myriad treatment options, each of which has its own set of short and long-term risks," said Michael Paranzino, president of Psoriasis Cure Now. "But as with most things in life, the devil is in the details. Comparative effectiveness research requires assigning extremely controversial dollar amounts to various levels of patient improvement, and also assigns monetary values to various levels of risk of side-effects, even though a 25 year-old mother and a 70 year-old man might have very different levels of willingness to risk serious side-effects. Today's comparative effectiveness research can very easily become tomorrow's rationing mandate."

Paranzino continued, "Different psoriasis treatments vary widely in cost, effectiveness, and side-effects. Some patients will trade less effectiveness for fewer side-effects. Others will accept serious long-term risks to feel better now. In addition, some psoriasis treatments cause catastrophic birth defects if given to women who become pregnant while taking them, but help men without these risks. In short, for a researcher to conclude that Treatment A helps an 'average' patient improve for less money than Treatment B, that researcher must make assumptions that may fly in the face of reality for real patients in real-world circumstances.

"It is essential that patient voices be heard throughout the actual comparative effectiveness research, or else this could become just a fancy way to deny advanced, but costly, treatments to people with serious but incurable diseases like psoriasis."

For more information on psoriasis, visit the Psoriasis Cure Now homepage at http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org.


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SOURCE Psoriasis Cure Now
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