Follow the money – psoriasis is a big business.
If you watch any TV these days you are likely to see a commercial about psoriasis. The most recent commercial features Cyndi Lauper proclaiming the benefits of the drug Cosentyx. But Cyndi Lauper is not the first celebrity to appear in a psoriasis commercial. You have probably seen America’s Next Top Modal winner CariDee English promoting Stelara. And other famous people representing Enbrel and Otezla. If the celebrity names don’t ring a bell you have likely heard of some of these drugs. The amount of money and saturation of advertising behind psoriasis drugs is simply astonishing. Even if you don’t watch TV many of the top magazine publications have print ads about these same psoriasis drugs. So why are we seeing so many psoriasis treatment ads?
Has The Number of People With Psoriasis Increased?
The actual number of people with psoriasis as a percentage of the population has not increased significantly. However, the amount of advertising from big drug companies has led to a significant increase in the awareness of this disease. As more and more people see the pictures of psoriasis on their TV screens and hear the symptoms; redness, itching and scaling, they begin to identify with their own problem.
How Many Psoriasis Medications Are There?
There are about five psoriasis drugs that are heavily advertised that you may have heard about. These include; Humira, Stelara, Cosentyx, Embrel and Otezla. But these five are really just the tip of the iceberg. A quick search on drugs.com comes up with nine pages of prescription drugs. This does not count the over-the-counter drug store medications. Most of the drugs are delivered through injection or pill form. However, there are also some prescription drugs that come in the form of a psoriasis shampoo and/or cream.
Which Psoriasis Treatment Is Right For You?
Almost all of the heavily advertised drugs are not for the average person with psoriasis. If you listen carefully to the commercials the drugs are designed for people with moderate to severe psoriasis. Most people who have psoriasis have it in a mild form and should not be considered for these drugs. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease and to treat the psoriasis the drugs that have been developed affect a person immune system. This can be very dangerous and must be monitored closely by a doctor. The list of side effects for these drugs is extensive and rightly so. A human immune system is very sensitive and even the slightest changes can cause serious problems to our bodies. But for people with psoriasis covering a vast amount of their bodies these drugs can be life changing. For people with mild body or scalp psoriasis there are some very effective over-the-counter psoriasis treatment products that are very effective and have minimal if any side effects.
So why are there so many commercials for psoriasis?
Psoriasis is the #1 auto-immune disease in the world. Over 125 million people suffer with psoriasis and currently there is no cure. These big drug companies have invested millions of dollars in psoriasis drugs because they are extremely profitable. Once a person uses one of these psoriasis drugs it is possible they could be on it for the rest of their life or at least for an extended number of years until new treatments or a cure is available. The cost of these treatments is expensive but most of it is likely covered by insurance. The longer a person continues to use one of these drugs the more money the drug companies make from the insurance companies. But profiting drug companies is not always a bad thing. The competition for customers has led to many great advancements in how to treat psoriasis. In addition, all these commercials for psoriasis have made many more people aware of this disease. Just having more people understand what is psoriasis helps remove some of the embarrassment that is often associated with this skin condition.