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Assessing the position of apremilast in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

Studies analysing real world data provide information of medicine usage in real life. A recent registry-based study conducted by Oriola and Amgen assessed the position of apremilast, a relatively new therapy available to treat psoriatic diseases, in the Finnish clinical practise.


Psoriatic diseases are a group of heterogeneous chronic inflammatory diseases causing mainly skin (psoriasis, PsO) and joint (psoriatic arthritis, PsA) disorders, which are associated with high rates of cardiovascular and other comorbidities. Apremilast is relatively new therapy available for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, in addition to targeted biologic therapies.

A recent study conducted by Oriola and commissioned by Amgen assessed the position of apremilast in the treatment pathway of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the Finnish clinical practice. The study compared the characteristics of apremilast and biologic therapy users, evaluated apremilast treatment persistence and identified factors influencing treatment discontinuation. The data was collected from Care Register for Healthcare in Finland (CRHF [Hilmo]) and Prescription Centre.

In this registry study, we identified 471 apremilast users and 4,214 biologic therapy users. Based on the study results, apremilast is mainly used between conventional synthetic therapy and biologics, with at least as high treatment persistence (median treatment duration 14 months with PsO and 11 months with PsA) as reported in previous studies. The treatment persistence increased with age and was higher in psoriasis than in psoriatic arthritis. Compared to the biologic therapy users, the apremilast users were older (mean age 52 vs. 56 years) with higher burden of comorbidities.

“The study increases understanding of the treatment landscape of psoriatic diseases in real life. In general, real-world evidence studies provide for example information on medicine usage, effectiveness of medicines and comparative data on various therapy options available at the market. This way they support data-driven decision-making and value-based healthcare,” says Timo Purmonen, Head of Data-Driven Business and Market Access at Oriola.

Source: Koskivirta I, Ruotsalainen J ym. Scand J Rheumatol 2023, 16:1-7: Real-world registry-based study on apremilast use in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in Finland