Psoriasis goes more than skin deep. Although primarily thought of as a skin disease, psoriasis develops into psoriatic arthritis in approximately 30% of psoriasis patients. Psoriatic arthritis, in turn, often complicates diagnosis and treatment. Meanwhile the disease process can be heading toward impaired function and a compromised quality of life.
For many years, the prevailing thought was that expedited treatment for psoriatic arthritis was unnecessary, as the condition would “run its course.” Current understanding could not be more different. Today, the importance of prompt treatment with targeted therapy is understood to be crucial in preventing psoriatic arthritis from becoming debilitating.
Armed with this knowledge of how imperative quick treatment is, clinicians are fortunate to also have new treatment tools at their disposal. At the end of 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tofacitinib (Xeljanz) to be used for active psoriatic arthritis. Previously, this medication had been FDA approved in 2012 for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Xeljanz works by inhibiting an enzyme pathway involved in inflammation.
This recent approval of Xeljanz for psoriatic arthritis (which is specifically for those with active forms of the disease who did not respond or are intolerant to methotrexate and other DMARDs) was based on positive outcomes in clinical research in patients that specifically tracked disease activity and patient disability.
Considering how crucial the early treatment of psoriatic arthritis can be in terms of future debilitation, BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy is proud to announce the introduction of our new RxExpress program which delivers crucial treatment (such as Xeljanz) to patients quickly and efficiently.
With this new free service, it’s never been faster to go from a prescription at the prescriber’s office to medication arriving at the patient’s door. RxExpress first starts with our 2-Hour Patient Acceptance Guarantee, letting physician offices know in less than two hours whether a referred patient is accepted for treatment through our specialty pharmacy. Next up in the RxExpress process: our new 2-Day Ready 2 Ship which promises to have prescriptions ready to ship to patients in just two days. Most prescriptions can be sent with this express two-day program (pending appeals and prior authorizations), which means that all clean prescriptions will be ready to ship in two days, via free overnight shipping. The RxExpress service still includes fast financial assistance for our patients. In fact, in just the first three quarters of 2017 BioPlus connected patients in need with $30 million in patient financial assistance in the form of grants, co-pays, and donations.
The Potential of Xeljanz
Xeljanz is already approved for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis; these conditions are also currently being studied for potential benefits:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Atopic dermatitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Ritchlin CT, Colbert RA, Gladman DD. Psoriatic arthritis. New Engl J Med 2017;376:957-70.
Pfizer announces FDA approval of Xeljanz® (tofacitinib and Xeljanz® XR for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis. Press release. December 14, 2017.
Gladman D, Rigby W, Azevedo VF, et al. Tofacitinib for psoriatic arthritis in patients with an inadequate response to TNF inhibitors. New Eng J Med 2017;377:1525-36.