NPF Psoriatic Arthritis Project to improve diagnosis, care and treatment for millions
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 26, 2014)—Millions of Americans with psoriatic arthritis—a serious disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints and tendons, and can result in joint damage if left untreated—struggle to get the health care and treatments they need to manage their condition. National Psoriasis Foundation plans to change that by launching the largest realignment and expansion of its psoriatic arthritis program since the organization began serving this community nearly 20 years ago.
For nearly two decades, the Psoriasis Foundation has provided disease-management services and information to people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which affects as many as one in three people with psoriasis, the most common autoimmune disease in the country. In 2012, an estimated 75,000 people with PsA accessed the Psoriasis Foundation for information and services.
Despite sharing similarities with rheumatoid arthritis—including painful symptoms and disease prevalence of approximately 1 million people—there are significantly fewer resources for people with psoriatic arthritis than for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
To address these disparities, the National Psoriasis Foundation PsA Project will focus on four areas:
Decreasing the average time of diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis from four years to one year;
Helping people with PsA better manage their disease;
Reducing barriers to health care and treatments;
Improving understanding of PsA symptoms, disease management and impact on patient quality of life among health care providers.
"The National Psoriasis Foundation emphasis on psoriatic arthritis will substantially change the lives of millions of people living with PsA and their families, and will give health care providers new tools to help us better serve our patients," said Dr. Philip Mease, chair of the PsA Project Design Committee and rheumatologist at the Swedish Medical Center and the University of Washington in Seattle.
The design committee, comprised of key medical experts in rheumatology and dermatology, psoriatic arthritis researchers and patients, will guide the organization in accomplishing its aggressive goals to better serve its community of people with psoriatic arthritis.
"We know that people with psoriatic arthritis require more. That's why the National Psoriasis Foundation will elevate psoriatic arthritis so we can bring the level of information and services up to par with the exemplary service we offer for psoriasis," said Randy Beranek, National Psoriasis Foundation president and CEO. "We wouldn't be able to grow our psoriatic arthritis services without the initial investment in this project by our corporate partners AbbVie, Celgene and Janssen Biotech, who join us in our desire to see that people with psoriatic arthritis live well and receive great care."
National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world's largest organization serving people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our priority is to provide the information and services for people to take control of their condition, while increasing research to find a cure. In addition to serving more than 2.1 million people annually through our patient and professional education and advocacy initiatives, NPF has funded more than $10 million in psoriatic disease research. Visit us online at www.psoriasis.org or call 800.723.9166. Follow NPF on Facebook and Twitter.