The annual U.S. cost of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, was estimated to be between $112 billion and $135 billion in 2013, according to a review article published online by JAMA Dermatology.
Psoriasis affects about 3.2 percent of the U.S. population and understanding the economic burden of the disease is important for research, advocacy and educational efforts.
Elizabeth A. Brezinski, M.D., of the University of California, Davis, Sacramento, and coauthors reviewed 22 studies to estimate the direct, indirect, intangible and comorbidity costs of adult psoriasis. The results were adjusted to 2013 dollars.
Their review found direct psoriasis costs ranged from $51.7 billion to $63.2 billion, while indirect costs (due to absenteeism or going to work while sick) ranged from $23.9 billion to $35.4 billion. Medical comorbidities were estimated to contribute another $36.4 billion. And intangible costs (to eliminate the negative effects of psoriasis in physical and mental health) amounted to a one-time cost of up to $11,498 per patient with psoriasis, according to the review results.
"The direct health care costs are significantly greater for patients with psoriasis than for the general population and are also higher for patients with increasing psoriasis disease severity. ... Defining the economic burden of psoriasis from a societal perspective is the foundation for innovating and providing access to cost-effective therapies that will result in improved patient outcomes," the authors note.