BEERSE, Belgium, October 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pledge Your Support Today to Help Drive Much-needed Change for People With Psoriasis Promising interim results from the Psoriasis Mandate have been released today to mark World Psoriasis Day. To date 1145 people across 40 European countries have pledged their support for five basic rights of people with psoriasis, but experts are urging people to keep signing the Mandate to drive much-needed improved standards of care. To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/53825-world-psoriasis-day Professor Matthias Augustin, University Medical Center of Hamburg, Germany, and Chair of the European Expert Working Group for Healthcare in Psoriasis (EEWGHP) says "Psoriasis affects approximately 14 million ,, people across Europe and there is significant variation in the standard of care people receive. Great steps are being made in the management of psoriasis, but lack of awareness and understanding of the condition by policy-makers and the general public adds to the distressing stigmatisation of this disease. The Psoriasis Mandate is our opportunity to give a voice to people living with psoriasis; to help them demand the high quality care that they deserve - please sign it." The Psoriasis Mandate launched earlier this year by the EEWGHP, Janssen* and The European Umbrella Organisation for Psoriasis Movements (EUROPSO) to provide an opportunity for the community at large, people with psoriasis and their healthcare professionals to pledge their support for achieving the best care possible for those living with psoriasis. Anyone can sign the Psoriasis Mandate ( http://www.psoriasis360.com/psoriasis-mandate) to show their support for five key rights of people with psoriasis:
Early and accurate diagnosis
Access to a specialist for regular treatment review
Access to effective treatment options
Involvement and choice in a treatment plan with defined goals
Understanding and support from society to live a normal life
To date, 18% of people who have signed the Psoriasis Mandate have psoriasis, 19% have family members or friends across Europe with psoriasis, 21% are healthcare professionals, and 42% of signatures are from members of the public who simply support the cause, demonstrating the growing support and understanding of the need to help people living with this debilitating condition. The Psoriasis Mandate followed the publication of the first-ever Psoriasis White Paper in July 2012 by the EEWGHP,  whose principle aim is to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for the 14 million people living with psoriasis in Europe. ,, The White Paper addresses the under-treatment of psoriasis in Europe and provides a framework for action. It calls on healthcare organisations, healthcare professionals, European regulatory bodies, governments, industry, academia and patient advocacy groups to act together implement change. The Psoriasis White Paper is available free of charge via a special feature page on the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (JEADV) website ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04576.x/full). Mr. Ottfrid Hillmann, President of EUROPSO, says "For too long now psoriasis has been a low priority. These days it is possible for people with psoriasis to live a normal life, but that can only be achieved through early access to high quality care. We continue to call on all people involved in the management of psoriasis, including healthcare professionals, people with psoriasis, their families, and governments, to pledge their support to improve care across Europe. We are all working towards a brighter future for those with psoriasis, but this will only be achieved with a unified approach." About Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic disease caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, speeding up skin cell production.  Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis,  often results in patches of thick, red or inflamed skin covered with silvery scales (known as plaques). These plaques usually itch or feel sore, can crack and bleed, and can occur anywhere on the body. It is often very painful and associated with multiple physical and psychological burdens such as depression.  Psoriasis affects 125 million people worldwide and approximately 14 million people in Europe. ,, The type, symptoms and severity of psoriasis may differ from one person to another, with its effects ranging from mild or moderate, to severe. Biological therapies are a valuable advancement in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and long-term efficacy and safety data on available treatment options is vital to support healthcare professionals in their decision-making about the most suitable treatment option for patients.