Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Financial burden and ineffective treatment represent the biggest challenges in treatment of psoriasis in Malaysia according to recent patient survey findings released in conjunction with World Psoriasis Day 2022 celebration
1. Financial burden and ineffective treatment represent the biggest challenges in treatment of psoriasis in Malaysia. Findings from the “Psoriasis Patient Access & Education Survey” conducted in August 2022 by an international joint survey on psoriasis patients in Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia, revealed that 53% of respondents in Malaysia identified financial burden, followed by ineffective treatment (49%) and inconvenient/unacceptable waiting time to see a healthcare provider (39%) as key challenges.
2. According to Psoriasis Association of Malaysia (PAM) Deputy President Dr.K Thiruchelvam:
“The patient survey findings are in line with the feedback we receive from our members. Among our members who have been affected seriously with widespread skin lesions or autoimmune arthritis symptoms - a category of medicine called biologics are able to provide adequate relief for the majority. However this therapy is not a cure and patients need ongoing treatment. Moreover, biologics treatment is costly - estimated to vary between RM30,000 to RM50,000 annually.”
3. Many of the survey respondents indicated an absence of insurance coverage (public or private insurance) provided for treatment costs, and 61% revealed that they have financial burdens due to the treatment costs. These findings underscore the urgent need for improved access to funding for psoriatic patients in this country as well as the need to classify psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as critical illnesses under both public and private health insurance schemes. The continued failure to address these funding and regulatory issues have resulted in a lower proportion of Malaysian patients (14%) receiving the latest treatment compared to their counterparts in Korea (37%) and Hong Kong (55%). More information about the survey can be found at www.psoriasismalaysia.org
4. The findings of this patient survey were released in conjunction with the World Psoriasis Day celebration in Malaysia on October 30, 2022. Psoriasis is a debilitating auto-immune and chronic inflammatory disease, affecting the skin and joints. In Malaysia, a total of about 23,800 patients with psoriasis were recorded in the National Registry from October 2007 – December 2019 although it is broadly estimated that the disease affects around 300,000 Malaysians. This year's WPD theme is "United we Tackle Mental Health" since mental health is increasingly being recognized as a significant part of living with psoriatic disease. “The public may not realise that many psoriasis patients are not only affected physically, emotional scarring is common among patients. Combining the mental health aspect, the financial aspect and the physical symptoms - all add up to a patient’s heavy burden. Much needs to be done for psoriasis patients in Malaysia. PAM hopes to continue finding long-term solutions with the relevant health players to address the plight of psoriasis patients in our country” said Dr K Thiruchelvam.
5. The WPD event was officiated by Fahmi Fadzil, the former MP for Lembah Pantai who received a White Paper on Psoriasis from Mr Azrul Mohd Khalib, the Chief Executive of the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy. Several activities were organized- including fashion show, photography exhibition and skin clinics - to highlight public awareness on this skin condition. The event was supported by a number of organisations including Boehringer-Ingelheim, Novartis, AbbVie, Leo Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, Fresenius Kabi, Suu Balm, MooGoo, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Ampang, MACP, RPM, PPM
About Psoriasis Association of Malaysia (PAM)
PAM is the leading national organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with psoriasis in Malaysia. We are a registered non-profit organisation founded in 1987 and managed by a handful of volunteers, most of whom are Psoriatic patients. PAM is funded by public donations, membership dues and grants from friends in the pharmaceutical industry.
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Should you have any enquiry about this press release or about the survey itself, kindly contact Dr Thiru at email@example.com.