Press Release

Medicines in Development For Skin Diseases

PhRMA April 8, 2013

Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2011) — America’s biopharmaceutical research companies currently are developing 277 medicines to help the more than 100 million Americans, one third of the U.S. population, that suffer from at least one skin disease.

Skin diseases ranging from acne to psoriasis and from melanoma to infections, are more common than most people know and they come with not only a medical but also a financial burden. According to a study by the Lewin Group, the total annual cost of skin diseases was estimated at $39.3 billion in 2005.

New medicines today in the research and development pipeline offer hope of reducing the human and economic costs of the many skin disorders affecting Americans. They include:

• 74 for skin cancers, including 63 for melanoma, which affects more than 68,000 Americans each year and is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

• 60 for skin and soft tissue infections, which account for nearly 14 million outpatient visits each year.  

• 41 for psoriasis, which affects about 7.5 million people in the United States, and is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in this country.

• 14 for dermatitis (eczema), where 90% of suffers get the disorder before the age of 5. Worldwide 10-20% of children have dermatitis.

• 9 for rosacea, which affects more than 14 million Americans.

These diseases affect people of all ages, racial and ethnic populations and economic status. At any given time, one in three people in the United States suffers from a skin disease.

“Advances in our understanding of the skin and the diverse disorders that affect it have allowed America’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to conduct the cutting- edge research needed to reduce the toll on the wide range of people afflicted with skin disorders,” said John J. Castellani, PhRMA’s president and CEO.

“Some people have referred to 2011 as the ‘year of melanoma.’ Because of promising research, there is great momentum in the field,” said Wendy K. D. Selig, President and CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance. “As we invest in cutting-edge translational science, we are further encouraged by collaborations between academia and industry. As these advances continue, we look forward to the day when all stakeholders can declare it the ‘year of the melanoma cure.’”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.4 billion in 2010 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $67.4 billion in 2010.

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