FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 5, 2018 • HEALTH • THE QUEENS COURIER 53
Do you know
all of your
Dru Riddle of Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the
estimated 7.5 million people afflicted with psoriasis
across the United States.
A nurse anesthetist and university professor, Riddle
understands first-hand the importance of receiving
the proper treatment as quickly as possible and treating
the condition with safe, effective medicine. Diagnosed
with psoriasis in 2003 and psoriatic arthritis (PA) in
2010, Riddle underwent the treatment trials and errors
common to many sufferers of PA before he was connected
with a health care provider who prescribed a more
aggressive plan that included biologics.
Before doctors put him to a biologic therapy, Riddle
suffered for several years with skin lesions and joint
“Finally I was switched to an injectable biologic medication,”
Riddle says. “Those medications have really
helped control my disease and the symptoms.”
A condition that is more than skin deep
Psoriasis often presents as patches of itchy, flaky skin,
while PA - which affects about a third of psoriasis patients
- results in joint swelling and pain, which may cause permanent
damage. Both conditions are a product of the body’s
immune system attacking itself instead of the foreign invader
that should be its target.
PA can usually be identified by psoriasis-like skin inflammations.
However, sometimes the joint pain and swelling
appear first. This can make it difficult for doctors to properly
diagnose the condition.
Initially, Riddle’s condition was treated topically
with little to no effect. The relief he found with
the right medicines was life-changing and he has
vowed to help others with PA find the right care.
“I recommend anyone with PA be extremely
aggressive with their treatment,” Riddle says.
“The risks of not treating your PA are so much greater
than treating it.”
In his quest for the right treatment regime, Riddle was diligent
about his self-care and joined a number of clinical trials for
the types of biologics that have been so integral to his treatment
plan. It was thanks to his proactive approach to treating his condition
that he started learning more about biosimilars.
Biosimilars are safe, effective and affordable alternatives to
conventional biologic medicines, similar to generic offerings
in other medicinal categories. Widely used in Europe, biosimilars
have faced a biologics-dominated market in the United
States that has so far been successful in limiting their availability.
Expanding the biosimilars market in the United States will
require manufacturers, the government and regulatory groups
to work together to craft new policies, making access to these
potentially life-changing treatments their top priority.
Riddle applauds the option of safe, effective and affordable
biosimilars for patients.
“The expense of the biologic medication can be prohibitive -
they’re very costly,” Riddle says. “So some people may benefit from
a more affordable biosimilar medication. That medication has the
same efficacy, meaning it works just as well as the biologic.”
Learning more about your options
“There’s no need to be afraid of the medicine,” says Christine
Simmon, Executive Director of The Biosimilars Council, a
group working to support the broad components of the biosimilar
industry and enabling increased access to safe, effective
and affordable biosimilar medicines. “Learn more about
your options, talk to your doctor and make sure you’re receiving
the medication that is the most effective treatment for your
If you have psoriasis and/or PA, you deserve to know all of
your options, including biosimilars. Your doctor can provide
you the information you need on these treatment options. To
prepare for your next doctor’s visit and have your initial questions
answered, visit http://biosimilarscouncil.org/ today.