psoriasis-biotech-drugs.jpg Psoriasis, an autoimmune disease of the skin, is a common ailment among many Americans. The sufferer complains of itchy and painful red, scaly patches that can often lead to lack of emotional and psychological self-confidence. Patients with this condition found relief a few years ago when the biotech industry started producing medication for this disease. Though this was welcomed initially by patients, fears of side-effects and the stand-offish attitude of insurance companies have deterred these products from being widely popular. More and more patients are now opting for phototherapy to relieve them of psoriasis. Many biotech companies are not too confident that a medical insurance company would be willing to spend $10,000 to $35,000 a year on treatments for psoriasis. Biogen Idec, the pioneer in starting biotech drugs for psoriasis has already sold its drug Amevive to Astellas Pharma, a Japanese pharmaceutical company.

Reasons for Bad Sales
a. Most insurers insist that psoriasis patients try older and cheaper therapies before going in for a biotech drug
b. Most patients are afraid of side effects of the drugs.
c. According to estimates, though 1.1 million Americans have severe psoriasis only 60,000 people are using biotech drugs.
d. These drugs are more expensive than other methods of treating the condition.
e. Patient ignorance is another factor.

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