The two-compound formulation of calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate for treatment of moderately severe body and scalp psoriasis - an introduction.Curr Med Res Opin. 2011 Jan; 27(1):197-203.CM
Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease and many patients require lifelong treatment. Characteristic scaly, itchy, unsightly psoriatic lesions affect many body areas and most patients commonly experience scalp involvement. The cosmetic embarrassment of visible body lesions, inaccessibility of scalp skin to application of therapies and proximity of sensitive facial skin add to the challenges of most patients managing their psoriasis long term. Psoriasis can severely impact patients' quality of life. This can impact significantly on the patient. In economic terms patients may incur increased out-of-pocket expenditure or extended time away from work as a direct consequence of psoriasis, particularly in severe cases; In many countries, specialist review of patients provides pressures on hard-pressed services and the costs of psoriasis care are substantial, particularly in patients with severe recalcitrant psoriasis which may require lengthy inpatient admission. Around 80% of patients with psoriasis have mild to moderately severe disease and the majority are treated with topical medicines by their physician in primary care. Despite the availability of a wide range of treatment options, regimens have been unsatisfactory, associated with patient dissatisfaction, poor compliance and often safety concerns with long-term use. Evidence-based clinical guidelines aim to improve healthcare of patients and while there are such guidelines for psoriasis, to date the challenges of (and recommendations for) managing scalp psoriasis are often limited or missing from these treatment guidelines. In the following in-journal supplement, a connected suite of five papers focus on the use of topical therapies for the treatment of the person afflicted with psoriasis. This work harnesses robust evidence from randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of topical therapies commonly used in psoriasis patients and translates this into recommendations for the most appropriate treatment of patients with body or scalp psoriasis, from an efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness perspective. Based upon systematic review and harnessing 'state of the art' evidence assessment methodologies, the modelling work suggests that the use of a two-compound formulation (TCF) product of calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate is the most appropriate treatment option for both body and scalp psoriasis. This Editorial acknowledges the results of any modelling exercise have limitations; indeed such limitations are acknowledged in each modelling contribution in this issue. With these caveats in mind, this introductory paper considers the implications of this research and distillation of the evidence. This work should guide cost-effective treatment choices for body and scalp psoriasis, assist in recommendations for management of scalp psoriasis in future iterations of psoriasis clinical guidelines and help primary care physicians striving to attain best outcomes in the care of the person with psoriasis.