LEO Pharma Asia partners with PsorAsia to enhance the capabilities of healthcare providers to help patients overcome psoriasis management challenges

Leo pharma25 June, 2013,Manila, Philippines – Psoriasis is a little-understood skin condition that carries a strong social stigma through its emotional impact on sufferers that can far outweigh the disease’s physical impact. That is why proper support and guidance from healthcare providers is crucial in achieving optimal treatment adherence, one of the main challenges in psoriasis management.

LEO Pharma, an independent, research-based pharmaceutical company, has developed the PsorCARE program in collaboration with PsorAsia, association of Psoriasis organizations in the Asia and the Pacific. PsorCARE, which stands for “Psoriasis Coach All-Round Education”, was offered to healthcare professionals in the Philippines on 25 June 2013. The program aims to enhance the counseling skills of healthcare practitioners for optimal patient-healthcare provider relationship leading to better treatment outcomes for those who suffer from the skin condition Psoriasis.

“LEO Pharma is committed to bringing this program to Asia because we are aware of the challenges that patients with Psoriasis face in their daily lives. We want patients with Psoriasis to know that trained support is available and that it is possible for them to live life as normally as possible. Our desire is to equip psoriasis patients with the resources and skills to help improve the quality of their lives,” said Mr Ricky Teo, Area Director (South Asia), LEO Pharma Asia Pte Ltd.

Psoriasis – the disease

Psoriasis is a chronic non-contagious inflammatory skin condition that affects close to a million Filipinos[1], and up to three in every hundred people globally[2]. It has consistently ranked among the top 20 dermatologic cases seen every year at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital Dermatology Clinic, with 10 new Psoriasis cases seen each day[3], but is little understood amongst the general public, earning it a social stigma for its highly visible effects on human skin, such as thick, silvery scales and pink raised skin. Hence, Psoriasis also exerts a psychological toll on patients, with a 44 percent increased risk of suicide, a 39 percent increased risk of depression, and a 31 percent increased risk of anxiety. Patients with severe psoriasis have a 72 percent increased risk of depression[4].

“Statistics have shown that there is a significant need to bridge the gap between administering medical treatments and providing patient support. Programs such as PsorCARE is an essential platform that allows us to share sustainable approaches with healthcare providers to help them address the high prevalence in treatment non-adherence and respond to the patient’s unmet needs,” Josef De Guzman, President, PsorAsia.

The need for the PsorCAREprogram

Many patients require a deeper and better understanding of the disease and the treatment options, which can be achieved with improved access to information through healthcare professionals. With professional counseling readily available, patients have the necessary support to better able to manage both the physical and psychological toll from living with Psoriasis.

For patients who require long-term therapy for psoriasis, treatment adherence – whether it be medicinal, behavioral, lifestyle or a combination of treatments – is essential for achieving optimal outcomes. Extensive market research has identified that adherence is founded on good communication and a positive relationship between the patient and healthcare practitioners. This applies in particular to nurses who are in regular contact with patients[5].

Treatment adherence has been shown to be poor for many psoriasis patients[6]. It is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the extent to which a person’s behavior – taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes, corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider”. Psoriasis patientsfind it challenging to adhere to their treatment modality because the application of their medicine requires discipline and patience, and this impacts their lifestyle. More significantly, the lack of apparent results dampens their morale which in turnaffects negatively, the follow-through with recommended treatment.

The nurses play a unique role when it comes to patient care and this puts them in exceptional position to provide support and strength through empathy and personalized care. More importantly, they can help manage patient’s expectations and encourage long-term commitment to treatment adherence and overcome any application challenges patients may face,”saidDr.Ma. Lorna Frez, Associate Professor the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital and President of PSORASIA MD.

How does the PsorCAREprogram work?

With the objective of improving patient adherence for optimal outcome in the treatment of psoriasis, PsorCARE is a peer-based training platform that teaches trainees how to achieve a balance between asking, listening, and informing when communicating with patients about the living and overcoming the burden of their disease. The program also enables trainees to translate theoretical approaches to practical implementation.

More about PsorCARE in the Philippines

The session on 25 June 2013will be led by Ms. Barbara Page, Dermatology Liaison Nurse Specialist, Queen Margaret Hospital. Around thirty (30) participants from the 11 major dermatology training institutions of the Philippine Dermatological Society will be participating in the training session.

“Aside from adhering to medical treatments, psoriasis patients also face physical and emotional challenges in their daily lives and it is important for us, as healthcare providers, to recognize these challenges and provide them with the much needed support. With the PsorCARE program, I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my experiences with other healthcare providers in Manila to help enhance our capabilities to further benefit these patients,” said Ms Page.


Bokyung Kim
Regional Associate Director

LEO Pharma Asia

Idelyn Saavedra-Esagunde

PR Specialist Dominguez Marketing Communications, INC.




Marj Platilla

Director, PsorAsia secretariat



About LEO Pharma

LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. By offering care solutions to patients in more than 100 countries globally, LEO Pharma supports people in managing their skin conditions. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, the healthcare company has devoted decades of research and development to delivering products and solutions to people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark and employs around 5,000 people worldwide.

For more information, visit www.leo-pharma.com.

About PsorAsia

Formally launched in February 2012, PsorAsia is the Federation of Psoriasis Association in Asia-Pacific. It aims to improve medical care, greater public understanding and increased research, and to explore the challenges psoriasis presents to the Asia-Pacific psoriasis community. PsorAsia is spreadheaded by Josef De Guzman, the President and Founder of Psoriasis Philippines, Inc. (PsorPhil). The country members of PsorAsia are all Asia countries, Australia and New Zealand.

To know more about PsorAsia,you may visit www.psorasia.org


[1] PIJM 2009 Data

[2] Papp KA, Henninger E. Safe psoriasis control: a new outcome measure for the composite assessment of the efficacy and safety of psoriasis treatment. J Cutan Med Surg. Dec 2005;9(6):276-283.

[3]Roa, Francisca D. The Philippines – Treatment of Psoriasis and its Challenges, [UP-PGH Dermatology Clinic Annual Statistics (2004-2008)]. International Psoriasis Council  Psoriasis Review. May 2010, Vol.6 No. 1

[4] Kurd Sk, Troxel AB, Crits-Christop P, and Gelfand JM. The risk of depression, anxiety and suicidality in patient with psoriasis: a population-based cohort study. Archives of Dermatology. 2010 Aug:146(8)891-5. And: Gupta MA, Gupta AK. Depression and suicidal ideation in dermatology patients with acne, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.British Journal of Dermatology. 1998;139(5):846-50.

[5]A Bewley, B Page. Maximising patient adherence for optimal outcomes in psoriasis. JEADV 2011

[6]Hol. Poster (P573) presented at the EADV Congress, 6–10 October, 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden