Skip to main content
Sign In
 

The High Cost of Psoriasis

CU School of Medicine


AURORA, Colo. – 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.

April Armstrong, MD, MPH, associate professor and vice chair of clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is the senior and corresponding author of the article. Armstrong, along with co-authors, 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.

About the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical

Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about the medical school’s care, education, research and community engagement, visit its web site.