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Itching for Buyers? How OTC Companies Can Reach the Psoriasis & Eczema Market

Posted by Chuck Hajj, Executive Director on Mar 29, 2018 5:13:44 PM


There are over 30 million people suffering from eczema in the United States, and approximately 7.5 million people with psoriasis.

Skin disease patients are looking for relief, but where do they go for information?

The U.S. skin disease treatment market is estimated to reach $8.6 billion by 2020. There is a huge demand for OTC treatment options—and pharmaceutical companies are happy to answer the call. 

When it comes to the skin disease market, what’s the best way for companies to access patients?

Let’s start by looking at where they’re researching treatment options.

Where Patients Find Treatment

Surprisingly, psoriasis and eczema patients have very different perspectives on turning to their doctor for treatment.

Over half of psoriasis patients will see a professional healthcare provider about their disease. Only about a third of those patients who turn to a doctor go to a primary care physician—most will see a dermatologist directly (roughly 57%). 

On the other hand, eczema patients have low confidence in healthcare providers when it comes to treatment options, with 91% of patients reporting that they didn’t think that doctors know how to treat eczema effectively.

For parents with children who have eczema, however, more than half have seen up to 5 doctors to find an ideal treatment plan.

Eczema patients are more likely to turn to home remedies and OTC treatment options to alleviate eczema symptoms, researching potential treatments online. Their treatment journey may start with a visit to their doctor, but it’ll likely end up online or at their nearest drug store.


Most Popular Treatment Options

Patients suffering from eczema are asking for better options, with a vast majority saying they’re dissatisfied with their current eczema treatment.

Prescription Topical Steroids: 60% of patients experience side effects, more than half say they’re dissatisfied with treatment overall

Oral Medications: 77% of patients experience side effects, more than half say they’re dissatisfied with treatment overall

Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors (TCIs): 40% of patients experience side effects, more than half say they’re dissatisfied with treatment overall

Phototherapy: 33% of patients experience side effects, more than 60% say they’re dissatisfied with treatment overall

For psoriasis patients, more than half of patients are dissatisfied with their treatment—with those suffering from moderate-to-severe psoriasis reporting the highest levels of dissatisfaction.

Patients suffering from mild psoriasis are more likely to use topical or OTC treatments, and  those with moderate-to-severe psoriasis typically use biologic treatments or phototherapy. Essentially, the more severe the psoriasis is, the more likely patients will turn to a professional for treatment.

Creating a hybrid marketing strategy that covers all access points is the best way to ensure that you’re reaching all psoriasis patients regardless of severity.


How to Access Patients

The first step to accessing patients is understanding how they seek treatment.

Here are a few ways pharmaceutical companies can market specifically to psoriasis and eczema patients based on their behavior:

  • Custom health and wellness publications written for sufferers and targeted to doctors who write prescriptions for eczema and psoriasis medications distributed at point-of-care facilities, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and school nurse’s offices
  • 2Engaging online content, including:
    • Treatment Guides
    • Case Studies
    • Patient Resources
  • Direct mail distribution of OTC treatment coupons and samples 

Interested in learning more about the psoriasis and eczema market? Meredith Custom Solutions understands how skin disease patients behave—and we’re happy to share what we know.

Get in touch or download our latest research report today.


Download Insights on Psoriasis & Eczema  for Health Care and Skin Care Marketers


Topics: Marketing, POC, Health